A recent New York Times investigation has confirmed what many criminal defense attorneys already know: breathalyzers often generate skewed results that land people in jail.
Anyone pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving will likely be subject to a roadside sobriety check that may start with walking in a straight line but often ends with an officer asking a driver to blow into a device called a breathalyzer that provides a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading.
If a driver blows under the legal limit, they may be off the hook, but anyone with BAC results that exceed the 0.08 legal limit may be facing a criminal conviction. Pretty open and shut case until you consider that breathalyzers are often unreliable. Nevertheless, virtually every police department in the country, including law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin, often depend on the results of the breathalyzer as evidence to charge someone with OWI.
Defenses to Wisconsin OWI correlate with known problems inherent in breathalyzer testing: improper calibration and improper procedures when collecting a sample:
Because breathalyzers are mini scientific instruments, they must be properly calibrated or results can be thrown off significantly – as much as 40 percent in some cases according to the NYT investigation. If a driver is charged with OWI with a high BAC after having had only one beer or something along that line, failure to calibrate a breathalyzer might be the culprit. Those who are just above the legal limit could argue for dismissal simply based on the inherent margin of error found in the devices.
Every officer must know how to administer the test, yet some do not follow procedures or standards in order to obtain an accurate result. For example, a breath sample can be artificially high if an officer captures an alcohol sample from the mouth and lungs rather than just lung vapor, which can boil down to haste. If procedures are not followed, someone considered “not impaired” under the law may be arrested for OWI.
Fighting Charges of Wisconsin OWI
Contact an Experienced Drunk Driving Lawyer For Help
If you have been charged with Wisconsin OWI first or subsequent offense it is important to seek the help of an experienced Wisconsin DUI OWI criminal defense lawyer to either have the charges dismissed based on faulty testing or civil rights violations, or, pursue a reduction in charges such as a wet reckless plea deal often resulting in a reduction in sentencing and fines. Contact Waukesha OWI defense lawyer Andrew C. Ladd to fight the charges of your Wisconsin OWI. Call 262-542-3900 for immediate assistance today.