New York DWI Breathalyzer Test
If you are pulled over on suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in the State of New York and asked to take a chemical test, you will most likely encounter a device known as a breathalyzer. Due to its portability, the handheld machine is the most common chemical testing device used to determine a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC).
Like everywhere else in the country, it is illegal for you to operate a vehicle in New York with a BAC over .08. If you are under the age of 21, the limit is .02. And, if you are operating a commercial vehicle, the limit is only .04. Anyone who takes a breath test and is found to have a BAC exceeding these limits can, be arrested for drunk driving.
Refusing A Breath Test
While it is technically within your rights to refuse a breath test, it is not always in your best interest to do so. Often times, the penalties associated with a refusal--including automatic suspension of your driver's license and a hefty fine--far outweigh whatever you think you're gaining by withholding breath test results. Because New York enforces Implied Consent laws, whether you are eventually convicted or not of DWI, you will have to suffer the consequences of a refusal.
Fighting A Breath Test
While the results of breath tests usually stand up in court as fairly reliable evidence, there are still circumstances in which a breathalyzer can fail to produce accurate information. For example, drivers with certain medical or dental issues actually retain higher amounts of alcohol in their breath. Additionally, drivers who recently used gum, mints or mouth wash can experience an inaccurate BAC reading due to the trace amounts of alcohol used in those products.
Driver malfunction isn't the only reason a breathalyzer might provide inaccurate results. Arresting officers can also cause faulty readings from a breath test. Officers are required to keep a log recording calibrations and other maintenance routines. If they are unable to prove that their devices were kept up to standards, it could cause problems when questioning the reliability of the machine used. Also, officers are required to have proper training for the device used. If they can't prove they are certified, questions could arise.
Beat A Breath Test Reading
An experienced DWI lawyer will know exactly what to ask to determine if all the correct procedures were followed during the arrest. If you suspect something wasn't done right during your breath test and would like advice from an experienced DWI lawyer, please submit your contact information online for a free case evaluation.