Fighting DUI Breath And Blood Tests

Charged with a DUI in Colorado? Here’s what you should know about DUI Blood And Breath Tests.

In Colorado Springs, as in other cities in Colorado, fighting blood and breath tests in DUI cases is a critical component of the defense strategy. These tests are used to measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) of a driver and can strongly influence the outcome of a DUI case.

A good DUI Attorney use several approaches to challenge the reliability and admissibility of the DUI blood and breath tests. Here are some of the better strategies a good DUI lawyer can use to fight your DUI.

Challenging the Accuracy of the Testing Device

DUI Breath Test Devices

Calibration and Maintenance: DUI defense attorneys often request maintenance and calibration records for the breathalyzer used. Improperly calibrated or poorly maintained devices can produce inaccurate results. Lawyers can argue that without regular and documented maintenance checks, the device’s results are unreliable.

Device Model and Approval: The model of the breathalyzer must be on the list of devices approved by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. If the device is not approved, its results can be contested.

DUI Blood Tests

Chain of Custody: The lawyer may examine the chain of custody of the blood sample. If there are gaps or errors in how the blood sample was handled, stored, or transported, the integrity of the sample can be questioned.

Testing Procedure: Attorneys may also challenge the procedure followed in drawing and testing the blood. Errors in the testing process, such as using an expired chemical in the analysis, can compromise the results.

Operator Error and Administration

DUI Breath Test

Operator Training and Certification: The defense can question whether the officer administering the test was properly trained and certified. In Colorado, operators must be trained and certified to conduct breath tests. A lack of proper certification or training can be grounds for contesting the results.

Test Administration: How the test was administered can also be challenged. For instance, Colorado law requires observation for a certain period before the test is administered to ensure the suspect does not ingest anything that could alter the test results.

DUI Blood Test

Phlebotomy (blood drawing) Practices: The qualifications of the individual who drew the blood and their adherence to accepted medical practices during the draw can be contested. Improper practices can lead to contamination or coagulation of the sample, affecting the results.

Physiological and External Factors Influencing Results

Medical Conditions: Conditions like diabetes or high-protein diets can sometimes produce substances in the body that are similar to alcohol, potentially affecting breathalyzer results. A good DUI lawyer might present medical evidence to suggest that such conditions could have skewed the results.

Environmental Factors: Factors such as the presence of certain chemicals or fumes in the testing environment can also affect breathalyzer results. Defense might argue that these factors contributed to a falsely high BAC reading.

Violation of Constitutional Rights

Probable Cause: The lawyer may argue that the initial stop lacked probable cause, which could render any evidence collected during the stop—including breath or blood tests—inadmissible in court.

Right to Counsel: In Colorado, the accused have the right to request a lawyer before deciding whether to submit to a blood or breath test. If this right is violated, the test results might be excluded.

Statutory and Procedural Defenses

Testing Time Frame: Colorado law stipulates that BAC tests must be conducted within a certain time frame from the time of driving to accurately reflect BAC during the time of driving. If the test was administered outside this time frame, the results might be contested.

Challenging DUI Breath And Blood Tests

Successfully challenging DUI blood and breath tests in Colorado involves a detailed understanding of both the science behind BAC testing and the legal standards governing these tests. Defense attorneys leverage technical, procedural, and constitutional arguments to question the reliability and admissibility of the evidence against their clients.

Fighting your DUI requires an experienced and focused approach, depending on the circumstances surrounding the DUI blood and breath tests and your individual’s condition at the time of testing.


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