In Virginia Beach, the breathalyzer instrument that law enforcement uses is extremely accurate. The Department of Forensic Science maintains this equipment and the department has really strict guidelines. It’s really rare that the breathalyzer has any issues.
However, it is possible that there was error in the administration of a breathalyzer, in which case you should contact an experienced Virginia Beach DUI lawyer immediately for assistance.
The machine has been used for over a decade at this point and is maintained by the Department of Forensic Science which keeps records on the breathalyzer. Courts in Virginia Beach have readily accepted the machine certificates of analysis as evidence. It’s possible for attorneys to check the background information of the machine to ensure that it’s been properly maintained and that police officers are well trained on how they should be accurately using the machine.
Law enforcement officers are supposed to monitor people who are taking a breathalyzer test beforehand to make sure that they’re not burping before they take the test. If someone does do this, then this will cause the machine to inaccurately calculate their blood alcohol content or sometimes, it will even read as an error and then the operator will be advised to repeat the test. If the machine isn’t being cared for as it’s supposed to be and properly maintained, then this can also affect it and result in invalid readings. Usually, a machine that hasn’t been maintained will have information available in the background information that will show that it hasn’t been cared for as it should be and this is typically enough evidence to have these results not admissible in court.
Upon request, the Virginia Department of Forensic Science will provide attorneys with a history of the machine. It is possible for a DUI attorney in Virginia Beach to see all of the tests that have been given in that time period which is about two weeks. In addition, they also provide us with calibration information that verifies if the machine has been calibrated recently.
Usually, it’s required for a breathalyzer to be calibrated every 90 days and the Department of Forensic Science does a really good job of making sure that this happens, but every now and then, someone messes up and there will be errors with the machine and again, this is enough cause to have results thrown out and therefore not be admissible in court.
They need to be calibrated every 90 days and the reality is that for the most part, this does happen, but every now and then, it slips through the cracks or for some reason they aren’t maintained that way and then this would be cause to have the results thrown out in court. An experienced Virginia Beach DUI attorney can help you bring the argument regarding the machine’s calibration to court.
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