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Challenging DUI Tests in Plymouth

Law enforcement officers use various DUI tests to confirm their suspicions that drivers are operating vehicles while intoxicated or committing OWI. The prosecution in an OWI case relies heavily on the results of these tests, which jurors might consider accurate when administered correctly. However, some of these tests are more reliable than others, and police errors can give rise to incorrect results.

A criminal defense lawyer may be able to examine the testing that occurred in your case and determine whether any inconsistencies or police mistakes occurred that would affect the test results. By challenging DUI tests in Plymouth, you may be able to alter the outcome of your criminal proceedings.

Challenging Blood Test Results

Police officers may obtain search warrants to test the blood of individuals accused of OWI. Whether the officers want blood test results to back up a breath test or drivers have refused to submit to a breath test, blood draw warrants are common in Michigan OWI cases.

However, if officers proceed with blood testing before getting a warrant, they may obtain the blood test results illegally. This failure to follow procedure can lead to a court excluding the blood test results in subsequent court proceedings.

Other challenges to Plymouth DUI tests may center around questioning the chain of custody for the blood sample. Individuals drawing blood to measure blood alcohol content in DUI cases must also observe strict standards to ensure that there is no contamination of the sample. If these individuals do not follow these precautions and allow a lapse in the chain of custody, the evidence may be compromised and inadmissible in court.

Likewise, if the blood sample becomes contaminated in any way during the blood draw process or the testing process, or if the vial is contaminated or expired, the test results may be inaccurate. If the prosecution cannot prove that blood taken from drivers following their DUI arrest reliably measures .08 percent or more, they may have difficulty getting a DUI conviction.

Breath Test Inaccuracies in DUI Cases

Just as criminal defense attorneys can challenge blood test evidence, they also can mount DUI test challenges in Plymouth concerning breath test results. Like blood test results, breath test results can be subject to inaccuracies, which in turn can lead to wrongful conviction.

First, if the police officers operating the breath test machine do not operate it correctly, the machine reading may be in error. If there is evidence that officers did not have appropriate training to operate the machine correctly, or did not properly maintain or service the device, then the test results may be invalid.

Other factors in the breath or digestion of individuals also can impact breath test results. For example, if drivers have gastroesophageal reflux disease or advanced heartburn, alcohol can appear on their breath, which can cause an erroneously high blood alcohol content (BAC) reading.

Similarly, if police officers fail to require a 15-minute observation period before administering the breath test, the results may be invalid. Before taking the test, the drivers could have smoked, ate food, or had something else in their mouths, all of which can alter the test results.

The Potential Importance of Contesting Plymouth DUI Tests

The process for challenging DUI tests in Plymouth depends on the facts surrounding the tests that the prosecution is relying on to support the OWI charges. Whether your charges stem from breath tests, blood tests, or both, you may have viable grounds for challenging the reliability of those tests. Legal counsel may be able to help you investigate your options for challenging DUI  and field sobriety tests in Plymouth and fighting back against OWI charges.

If you are facing criminal prosecution for OWI charges, you could face severe consequences if convicted. As a result, exploring and weighing all alternatives that may be available to you may be wise. With legal representation, you may be in a better position to question the accuracy of the test results supporting the OWI charges.  A successful challenge could lead to your case being dismissed or substantially reduced to a far less serious crime.