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Blood & Breath Testing in West Covina

Competent California DUI Defense Attorneys

Nearly a quarter of a million California drivers are convicted of DUI every year. Prosecutors are often able to secure these convictions on evidence collected from DUI breath tests. However, California DUI breath tests are vulnerable to an array of errors. The results of such tests are not “written in stone” and thus they can be challenged by a knowledgeable West Covina DUI defense lawyer.

At Coimbra Law Firm, we have 15 years of experience representing a wide range of DUI cases involving circumstantial evidence and false arrests.

Am I Required by Law to Take Blood & Breath Tests?

During a DUI investigation, police customarily administer two kinds of breath tests. These tests are the breathalyzer test (or the PAS - preliminary alcohol screening test) which can be done roadside and the evidentiary test, which uses a desktop breathalyzer and can be completed at a sobriety checkpoint or police station after an arrest. The first of these two tests, the breathalyzer test, is elective.

You may refuse to take the PAS unless:

  • You are under 21 years of age
  • You are on probation for a prior DUI conviction

In actuality, police seldom explain to the motorist that the PAS test is elective or optional and hardly ever present it as a choice. If the cop harbors a suspicion that your impairment is attributable to alcohol, then you will generally be permitted to make a selection between a blood test or another breath test. However, if the officer suspects that your impairment is ascribable to being under the influence of drugs, he will require you to take a blood test.

If you refuse to take a chemical test after you have been arrested, your license will be suspended for a minimum of one year and you will receive enhanced penalties if the police ultimately convict you of DUI in court.

Protocol for DUI Breath Tests

Breath tests must be administered very carefully in order to avoid false reads or any type of errors. Unfortunately, police are not always as careful or trained in proper protocol as they should be. Our West Covina DUI defense lawyers may be able to use this in your defense.

The police MUST adhere to protocol in carrying out the DUI breath testing:

  • Law enforcement personnel are required to calibrate breath testing devices every 10 days or every 150 uses, whichever happens comes first.
  • They can only use DUI breath testing devices approved in California.
  • Routine calibration and testing of these instruments is required.
  • There must be adequate training of personnel who administer the DUI breath test.
  • There must be a continuous 15-minute observation period prior to commencement of the test (during which time you must not drink, eat, smoke, or vomit).
  • The operator must secure 2 separate DUI breath test results which vary by no more than 0.02 grams per 100 milliliters of blood alcohol.
  • They must keep a proper record at each phase of instrument calibration, the DUI arrest and the DUI breath test.

Please set up a free consultation to discuss your case with a knowledgeable West Covina DUI defense lawyer. Give us a call today at (626) 827-7222.

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