Challenging the Breathalyzer Test in a Wyoming DWUI Case
August 30th, 2022
In a case that involves charges of Driving While Under the Influence (DWUI), the Breathalyzer test results are a critical piece of evidence that the prosecutor will use to try to convict you. If your criminal defense team can successfully challenge the admissibility of the breath test results and have the evidence excluded, you increase your chances of having the charges reduced or even having the case dismissed.
At Just Criminal Law, our criminal defense team has extensive experience defending people facing DWUI charges in Wyoming and South Dakota. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances that led to your arrest, identify ways to challenge the evidence the prosecutor will use to try to convict you, and fight to protect your rights. In many cases, we are able to negotiate a favorable resolution to your case without going to trial. But if trial is necessary, our attorneys know what it takes to win. Many of our team members began their careers in the prosecutor’s office, where they learned first-hand how the government prepares and prosecutes DWUI cases. Today, we put that experience to work for you as we aggressively fight to defend people who have been charged with a DWUI.
DWUI Breathalyzer Test Levels
In Wyoming and South Dakota, as in all 50 states, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) that is above the legal limit.
- For people who are 21 years or older, the legal limit is .08%.
- People under 21 are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with a BAC greater than .02%.
- Drivers with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) can be charged with a DWUI if they have a BAC of 04% or higher.
Challenging the Breathalyzer Test Results
There are specific criteria that must be met before the Breathalyzer test results will be admissible in court. If the police officer who administers the test failed to follow the required protocols, the results of the test are unreliable, and your criminal defense team can try to have them excluded from consideration at trial. If the results of the Breathalyzer test cannot be considered, you have a much better chance of negotiating a favorable resolution to your case or even having the charges dismissed.
#1 Unreliability of Breathalyzer Test Results
Depending on testing conditions, the Breathalyzer machine might have reported an inaccurately high result. Police radio frequencies, contaminated samples, medical conditions, smoking, or even mouthwash or a breath mint call result in imprecise, unreliable readings that should not be used in court to try to convict someone of a DWUI.
#2 Calibration of the Breathalyzer Test
A Breathalyzer is a complicated and sensitive piece of equipment. If it is not properly calibrated, it cannot return an accurate and reliable result. If the Breathalyzer was not calibrated and checked for accuracy, the court cannot consider the result as reliable evidence.
As part of our DWUI defense, our team will request the calibration and maintenance records for the Breathalyzer. If the machine was not properly calibrated or regularly maintained, we can challenge the reliability of the test result and seek to have the evidence excluded.
#3 Police Officer Lacked the Training to Administer the Test
The police officer who administered the Breathalyzer test must have been properly trained in its use if the test results can be introduced at trial. Our team will request the police officer’s training records as part of our pre-trial investigation. If the police officer lacked the proper training to administer the test, we can challenge the admissibility of the test result.
#4 Using the Breathalyzer Was an Illegal Search
In some cases, the police officer did not have probable cause to initiate a traffic stop or to suspect that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol. In these cases, our team can challenge the police officer’s justification for the stop itself.
If the police officer did not have probable cause to believe you committed a crime or, once you were stopped, to believe that you were under the influence of alcohol, our team may be able to have evidence of the results of the Breathalyzer excluded.
#5 Police Officer Did Not Testify
A criminal defendant has a constitutional right to confront their accuser. If the police officers who administered and analyzed the Breathalyzer test do not appear at trial and submit to cross-examination, the test results cannot be admitted into evidence. If the police officer is not present, our lawyers will challenge the admissibility of the test results as a violation of your constitutional right to confront your accuser.
The Defense Team at Just Criminal Law Protects Your One Shot at Justice
If you have been charged with a DWUI in Wyoming or South Dakota, you need an experienced criminal defense team on your side who will fight to protect your one shot at justice.
Led by founding attorney Christina L. Williams, the criminal defense team at Just Criminal Law will conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances that led to your arrest, thoroughly investigate the evidence against you, and fight to protect your rights in both pre-trial hearings and, if necessary, at trial.
The penalties for a DWUI conviction can be severe. Put our experienced team of criminal defense professionals to work for you and fight to protect your one shot at justice.
We invite you to learn why clients choose us and to read about successful outcomes in other cases we handled. Then contact us today to schedule your personalized case review and strategy session.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.
Categories: DUI / DWUI / Drunk Driving