When a motorist is stopped on suspicion of a DWI, the investigating police officer will initially request that the driver take Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, which include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), the Walk and Turn (WAT), and the One Leg Stand (OLS). Assuming the driver fails one or more of those tests, which is very likely based upon the subjective manner in which these tests are evaluated and graded, the officer will next request that the driver take a preliminary breath test, which is a small, unscientific device which is to be distinguished from the more commonly known “Breathalyzer.” The police can use the results of a preliminary breath test to give them probable cause to arrest the motorist on a DWI charge, but because the results of this test are unscientific, they will then request that the person take a chemical test of their breath, blood or urine back at the precinct. There are many aspects to testing through a breathalyzer which can be challenged, from the manner in which the instrument is calibrated, to how the sample is taken, the manner in which the results are analyzed, to the experience or knowledge of the operator of the instrument. The physical condition of the person can also have an effect on the result, for example if the driver has a normally elevated mouth alcohol content. At the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel in White Plains, New York, our breathalyzer test attorneys have the knowledge and experience to analyze the laboratory findings that are presented by the prosecutor to determine whether there are areas of the testing that can be challenged in Court.Confusion between preliminary breath test screening and the Breathalyzer
The preliminary breath tests which are conducted at the scene of the arrest are generally performed with the use of an Alco-Sensor, and the results of this preliminary test are not admissible in Court. This is the reason that motorists who are allegedly found to have a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08% will be asked to take a chemical test of their breath at the precinct. As a result, many clients will often end up being charged with a Refusal when they insist to the officer that they do not want to take the breathalyzer as they have already taken a breath test. The officer is under no obligation to explain that taking a preliminary breath screening test is not the equivalent of taking a chemical test of the blood, breath or urine. If the officer then charges the driver with a refusal for questioning the necessity of the chemical test, this can mean the revocation of your license for at last one year, fines of at least $500.00, and an automatic administrative license hearing.
At the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel, our White Plains breathalyzer lawyers have handled and recognized that chemical testing is not infallible and the results can be challenged for a variety of reasons. The testing must be scrutinized and evaluated carefully to determine if legal challenges can be mounted. The arresting police officer will not explain the law to you, and frequently do not permit drivers to even make a phone call to determine if they should agree to a chemical test. Although under the Vehicle & Traffic Law drivers give implied consent to take chemical tests of blood, breath or urine if there is a suspicion of DWI, they do have rights in this regard, including the right to refuse. That is why you need aggressive advocacy from an experienced DWI attorney.Fallibility of Breathalyzer Tests
Our office does not automatically accept that chemical testing results are infallible. For example, improper calibration of the Breathalyzer can result in inaccurate readings. Those errors can lead to significant strife for you, affecting both your professional and personal life. Employment can be lost. Licenses can be revoked. Insurance rates could climb to unaffordable levels. This is another reason why you need the seasoned, skilled and aggressive representation that our office provides.Contact Us
To obtain more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced DWI lawyer regarding a chemical tests of breath or any other form of blood alcohol testing, please contact us.