How to win a high breath test case

Suppose you are on the way home one evening, and pulled over for driving while intoxicated. You agree to take a breath test, and you are told the result was .154. Not only is that over the legal limit of .08, it's also high enough to raise the offense level. You might think there's nothing you can do except plead guilty and try ot work out a deal. You would be wrong.

We recently had a case like this that ended up in a dismissal. We were able to obtain that result by taking a systematic approach to evaluating the case. Part of that involves looking closely at the stop, and determining whether there was a legitimate reason for doing so. You can't do that by simply looking at the report; no officer is going to say they didn't have a reason to stop you. You also have to get all the videos that are available. At a minimum there will usually be an in car video. In most police cars the video is activated automatically when the flashing lights are turned on. Depending on the program, the video will go back 30 seconds to a minute.

In this case we were able to see that our client made a right turn, and then moved almost immediately to the left lane to make a turn into a restaraunt.  She was stopped for not signalling  a turn when moving over the turn lane. We decided to file a motion to suppress, arguing it was not possible to signal a lane change, and still be able to signal the intention to turn 100 feet before the turn. The court agreed, and entered an order suppressing all evidence recovered as a result of the stop, which included the breath test. The state then filed a motion to dismiss, since there was no evidence to show our client was intoxicated.

We have been able to obtain the same result in other cases. Every case has to be carefully evaluated to determine if there was a basis for stopping you in the first place. If there's not, it doesn't make any difference how high your test was, or how bad you did on the field sobriety tests.

If you want to know more about the defenses available in DWI cases get a copy of our DWI Survival Guide. If you've been arrested for driving while intoxicated, contact us a schedule a free case evaluation to discuse youre case.

 

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 30 years.
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