Inaccurate Breath Tests in a DUI/DWI

The results of a breathalyzer test are often considered the strongest evidence a prosecutor has against a defendant in a drunk driving case. However, there are numerous situations in which a breathalyzer gives inaccurate readings. In fact, recent news articles make a good case that breath-testing machines may not provide reliable results.

A significant problem with many breath – testing machines is that they not only detect the chemical compound found in alcoholic beverages (ethyl alcohol) but other chemicals similar in molecular structure. At any given time, more than 100 compounds can be detected in human breath, a majority of which can be incorrectly identified as ethyl alcohol. For example, certain medications, artificial sweeteners and even exposure to paint fumes can cause false positives.

Other circumstances that can give inaccurate readings include:

  • Improperly administered tests
  • Improper calibration of the machine
  • Tests administered by untrained personnel
  • Unmaintained equipment
  • Medical conditions of the person being tested

Refusing a breath test

Should you refuse to submit to a breath test, the prosecution does have to compile other evidence to build a case against you. However, by refusing a breath test, law enforcement may infer that your refusal was based upon your belief that you were legally intoxicated. Further, by refusing a subsequent breath test at the police station you risk a driver’s suspension.

Regardless of the circumstances of your arrest, an experienced DUI attorney can provide sound legal advice. An experienced attorney can examine the evidence against you and help determine if the breath test was administered properly, and whether the results were accurate. Contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call us at 410-740-0101 to discuss your DUI/DWI case.

Maryland to Honor Victims of Crime April 10

National victims of crime to be honored April 16–21

Victims of crime are not forgotten by their friends and family, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is determined to keep their stories in the public’s sights, too.

Each April since 1981, the Office of Victim of Crimes (OVC), a division of the DOJ, sponsors the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW). The OVC helps communities lead special programs designed to promote victims’ rights, honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf.

This year, the NCRVW is set for April 16–21. The theme is “Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past.”

The state of Maryland sponsors its own series of programs designed to honor crime victims. On Sunday, April 10, the state’s attorneys’ offices in Baltimore, Carroll, Queen Anne’s and St. Mary’s counties, along with the Maryland State Board of Victims Services, will hold the 22nd annual Maryland statewide memorial service for crime victims and their families. Premised on the theme “Something Beautiful Remains,” the event will be marked by four regional services held simultaneously.

Services for the state’s northern region will be held from 2 p.m.–4 p.m. at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Baltimore, while the southern region will hold its commemoration from 1 p.m.–3 p.m. The event will take place at the Greater Waldorf Jaycee Community Center in Waldorf. Centreville United Methodist Church in Centreville will house the eastern region’s service from 2 p.m.–4 p.m. The church is located at 608 Church Hill Rd. The western region will hold its commemoration at the VFW Post #467 in Westminster, also from 2 p.m.–4 p.m.

For further information about the NCRVW, check out the 2011 NCVRW Resource Guide.

Attorney Smith is rated AV® Preeminent™* by his colleagues in the local legal community under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. This is the highest rating possible for legal skill and ethical practice.

Contact The Smith Criminal Defense Firm

To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to fight for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.


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