The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C.

520-220-5047

1-800-DIAL-DUI / 1-800-342-5384

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945 N. Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705
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Arizona DUI Attorney Michelle BehanIn Arizona, officers must draw your blood within two hours of you being pulled over for suspicion of DUI if they wish to use the blood results as evidence against you. That’s because the law says you cannot have a prohibited alcohol concentration within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of a car. The police are aware of this short window and will try to draw your blood as quickly as they can. However, in some cases, a driver’s blood is not taken until 2 hours after the stop. In fact, it is not unusual for testing to occur outside the 2-hour window.

Even if the police miss the two-hour window on drawing your blood, they can still try to use the results as evidence against you by relying on something called retrograde extrapolation. This scientific process determines if you had a BAC of .08 or higher within two hours of driving. Usually, the State will have a chemist testify using the blood result and guess backwards as to what your BAC would have been within two hours of driving.

However, retrograde extrapolation has been criticized by many experts in the field. Some argue that this method requires a chemist to make several assumptions. For example, chemists often assume that the alcohol was completely absorbed at the time of testing, or that the alcohol curve was charted correctly, or that the alcohol in your system was eliminated at an average rate. These are major assumptions that may be wrong and affect the results of the chemist’s BAC estimation.

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Arizona DUI AttorneyMany drivers facing a DUI charge in Arizona ask the same question: when are breath test results admissible as evidence against me? If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to know the difference between the Portable Breath Test (PBT) and an Intoxilyzer:

Portable Breath Test (PBT).  This handheld device is often used by officer during the initial DUI investigation. However, because these tests are widely considered unreliable and inaccurate, the PBT test is not admissible to be used against you as evidence. Remember, you are not required to submit to a PBT test under any circumstances.  [internal link to pbt blog]

Intoxilyzer.  The second form of breath testing is through the Intoxilyzer 8000, which Arizona uses as its breath test device. However, unlike the PBT, the results from the Intoxilyzer 8000 can be admissible as evidence against you in court.

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Tucson DUI Charge Attorney If you have been pulled over on a suspicion of drinking and driving in Arizona, an officer may perform a blood draw on you to test for either alcohol or drugs. If your blood has been drawn, the officer will obtain two vials to test by the State’s crime lab. However, whether your blood was drawn or a sample of your breath was captured, you have a right to have your blood independently tested.

 Both the Constitution and Arizona Law discuss that a DUI suspect has the right to obtain an independent blood alcohol test. A driver must be allowed to counter the state’s scientific evidence of intoxication with the defendant’s own scientific evidence.

 There are many challenges to a blood draw. For example, blood contamination, improper storing, incorrect labeling, improper collection, and a break in the police’s chain of custody are all ways to show that the blood evidence against you may have been compromised.

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Tucson DUI Defense Law Firm In Arizona, the police can impound your car up to 30 days in some DUI cases. This applies even if the owner of the car was not present when the driver was cited for the DUI. Arizona Revised Statute §28-3511 is the law that allows the police to take your car. The law allows the police to impound the car if the driver:

1.     Did not possess a valid driver license;

2.     Had a revoked, suspended or canceled driver license;

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Tucson DUI Defense AttorneysArizona has harsh DUI penalties, even for first offenders. Arizona was also one of the first states to require a driver convicted of a DUI to install an ignition interlock device. If convicted with a DUI, a driver will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device at his or her own expense, in addition to paying fines and undergoing mandatory driving education and counseling. If you are facing a DUI charge, you should be aware of how Arizona’s ignition interlock devices may apply to you.

Determining Whether Interlocks Apply.  Ignition interlock devices only apply if the driver was convicted of an alcohol-related DUI, and do not apply if the driver was under the influence of another substance, such as marijuana or prescription drugs.

How the Device Works.  An interlock device requires a driver to blow into the device before the vehicle can start. If the device detects a prohibited level of alcohol, usually .02 or higher, the device registers a failure, and .the car will not start.

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Posted on in DUI

Arizona DUI Alcohol Defense AttorneyA year-long investigation by the New York Times determined that breath alcohol tests are untrustworthy. The Times published an article revealing that tens of thousands of breath alcohol tests are scientifically unreliable. In an article titled These Machines Can Put You in Jail. Don’t Trust Them the Times wrote, “Alcohol breath tests, a linchpin of the criminal justice system, are often unreliable.”

The investigation included interviews of forensic scientists, industry representatives, independent experts, defense attorneys, court orders, and internal documents related to breath alcohol devices across the country.  As part of the investigation, the Times determined that there were several reasons why alcohol breath tests were unreliable.

The first reason that the test results are incorrect is due to the design flaws in the machines themselves.  The investigation uncovered that the basic programming of these breath alcohol machines, called ‘source code’ often contained mathematical errors that should have been discovered by even the most simple verification. Manufacturers fought tooth and nail to prevent defense attorneys and courts from gaining access to the source code.

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