Can You Refuse a Breath Test in Colorado?
BAC Test Results & Your Rights
Breath and blood tests have been used for many years to prove the BAC (blood-alcohol concentration) of a DUI suspect after a traffic stop or an accident. A person can be charged with DUI if the BAC reading is 0.08 or higher, and can be charged with DWAI if the BAC reading is 0.05 or higher. However, there can be several problems with the breathalyzer test results. A blood test, generally considered to be more accurate, can also be affected by a number of factors. Even if you are told that your test showed your BAC exceeded one of these limits, the results may be disputed by a Colorado criminal defense attorney with an in-depth understanding of the technical factors that can skew the test results.
Challenging Your Test Results
Time is an important factor in both these tests, as the BAC levels change as time goes on. With either test, certain standards must be met, and when the exact procedures are not followed the results become invalid. The breathalyzer supposedly measures the BAC by alcohol levels in the breath. However, this reading can be raised simply by belching prior to the test or by the use of a mouthwash. Additionally, these machines require regular maintenance and calibration, otherwise the readings become inaccurate. A technician who is not adequately trained in the use of the breathalyzer and in administering the test can get a wildly inaccurate result. Blood tests, while generally administered by a trained and qualified person, can be affected by contamination, improper storage and handling, or other factors. A skilled DUI defense lawyer has a thorough working knowledge of these two tests and explores the possibility of inaccurate test results as part of providing a strong defense.
Talk with a DUI lawyer at Feldmann Nagel Cantafio Margulis, PLLC about the circumstances of your arrest and the best defense strategy for your case.