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Some Florida courts have banned breath tests

Drunk driving could not only result in serious injury or death, but a conviction could result in license suspension and even jail time. What you might not know is that there are regulations surrounding a drunk driving allegation. For example, police must have probable cause to pull you over, meaning they can’t simply decide to test any random driver for alcohol. They must also be sure to conduct field sobriety tests properly and take adequate care of their breath test machines.

Speaking of breath machines, a panel of judges in Florida is set to decide shortly about the validity of having breath tests in a courtroom. According to defense attorneys in Orange County, the Intoxilyzer 8000 can’t be trusted, and with trade secrets not being disclosed by the company, the judges have essentially agreed and the tests are effectively banned. This is an important aspect of DUI cases, as a breath test machine that gives unreliable readings could see a driver convicted wrongfully.

While the ban is only effective in certain counties, such as Orange County and Osceola County, precedents are very important to the law. If a case for the unreliability of these machines can successfully be made, and the success gains momentum, it could easily spread to surrounding counties or even become a statewide acceptance. Unfortunately, there is more to DUI cases than just breath tests.

Field sobriety tests are often used to determine whether or not a driver might be intoxicated as well, but these tests are not error-free either. For example, prescription medication that makes you drowsy might cause you to fail an aspect of these tests and see you wrongfully charged with a DUI. The importance of mounting a solid legal defense in a DUI case cannot be overstated, and legal counsel can help mount said case.

Source: Click Orlando, “Breath tests banned from courtrooms in DUI cases,” Sean Lavin, July 30, 2014

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