Challenging a BAC Breath Test Result at Trial in a DUI case

Any experienced Denver DUI lawyer will not accept the blood alcohol result (BAC) at face value. Instead, it is important to challenge the accuracy and means used to test a breath or blood test result in a drunk driving case.

Human errors can result in a faulty test result. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) publishes guidelines for both evidential breath alcohol testing. These rules establish “minimum standards” for certification, approval, maintenance, and operation of a breathalyzer or chromatography procedure to test for ethanol in blood.

One of the department’s rules requires a twenty-minute observation period prior to taking a breath test. During this deprivation period, an officer must closely observe a DUI suspect to make sure that he or she does do anything that could affect the accuracy of the test result, such as burping or putting something together in the mouth. In addition, the officer operating the breathalyzer must be sure that the person does not belch or burp within the twenty minutes immediately preceding the test to ensure that only air from the lungs, and not the stomach, is in the breath sample tested. In addition, certain occurrences can prevent a breathalyzer from getting an accurate reading, such as the presence of contaminating substances or solvents, such as those used in furniture restoration.

To investigate whether issues exist that could call the breath test result into question, your DUI attorney usually must go beyond what is contained in the police reports and what is provided by the prosecutor’s office. Through discovery procedures, subpoenas, and public open-records requests, data and maintenance records for the breathalyzer that was used in your case can be obtained. Many rules, regulations, and scientific certainties must occur before the breath test result you received in your police reports should be accepted.

Finally, some DUI cases are extremely difficult to defend. An effective DUI defense attorney in Denver will explore mitigation and negotiating for a better result as well as trial defenses. Nevertheless, even cases that look difficult at first can be winners once a thorough investigation has been completed.

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