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If you have been accused of driving under the influence, then you are likely aware of the different DUI testing that they will require you to submit to. These can range from the preliminary field sobriety tests to the most scientific of blood tests, however, should you be told that you “failed” these tests, it can be easy to feel as if you have already been convicted. It, however, is important that you don’t lose hope.
Many people simply do not realize how an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer will be able to challenge this evidence because a failed test seems so final – so permanent. The truth, however, is that at Okabe and Haushalter, we are well-versed in all aspects of DUI defense. This includes providing our clients with comprehensive defense against the results of DUI testing. We know the questions to ask when looking into these tests and know the best way to protect our clients.
For example, when considering field sobriety tests, it is important to realize that these are highly subjective. They are largely left up to the opinion and prejudice of the officer administering the test. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has gone a long way in ensuring that these tests are regulated, they are not foolproof. In fact, the NHTSA estimates that they are only mostly accurate – even when they are all used together and are administered flawlessly. Any mistake or extenuating factor could seriously skew the result.
The breath test is similarly prone to error. The largest error is in the maintenance used to care for the machine used in the testing procedure – commonly referred to as the Breathalyzer. It is required by law that the Breathalyzer receives routine calibration to check for the accuracy of its results. If it doesn’t receive this calibration on a routine schedule, it is like shooting in the dark, just hoping that the machine is performing. It’s also important to note that there can be factors that can unfortunately interfere with the accuracy of the machine, such as interfering signals or the existence of alcohol in the mouth.
The final test, the blood test, is seemingly the most accurate but due to the delicacy of the procedure, even the simplest of mistakes could cause a break in the end result. For example, should the technician drawing the blood sample clean the draw site with an alcohol-based product, this alcohol could contaminate the sample. Similarly, if it is not stored properly, if it is not mixed with the correct amount of preservatives or if the necessary anticoagulants are not used, the blood sample could go “bad” and begin to clot.
All of these are common sources of error and can be used to challenge the evidence garnered from DUI testing. Therefore, if you are facing the possibility of a DUI conviction and have been told that you have “failed” one of the tests, do not let yourself lose hope. There are steps that we can take to ensure that your rights are protected and we are fully prepared to do everything possible to help you defend our legal rights.
Contact Okabe and Haushalter as soon as possible to learn more about how we can challenge the evidence. We know the steps needed to accurately provide our clients with the dynamic legal defense that they can fully rely upon. We know just how much is on the line and we know the stakes of this type of criminal case. Don’t let yourself go to court alone – get us involved and rest easier knowing that you will have an advocate that’s willing to go the distance for your legal rights.