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New Year’s Eve Hangover: D.C. DUI Help

by | Jan 2, 2013

Our D.C. DUI lawyers hope you had a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve holiday and celebration!

However, for those of you who may have been arrested on DUI charges, we don’t want you to lose faith that 2013 can still be a great year. But you’re going to need a great lawyer.

There are a long list of ways a good DUI lawyer can improve your odds of having the charges reduced or possibly even dismissed.

One of the strongest defenses we have in these cases often turns out to be the one thing that police officers rely upon: breathalyzers.

D.C. is notorious for its problems with the machines, which were re-integrated locally last September after a two-year hiatus due to systematic calibration problems that resulted in false positives and more than 400 false convictions. The Metro Police Department insists the flaws have been fixed.

However, it’s not only a problem in D.C. It’s been noted all over the country.

Let’s take for example the thousands of cases in Florida that have been called into question by a lawyer in West Palm Beach. In a petition filed with the state’s administrative court, the attorney accuses of the state’s Department of Law Enforcement of failing to follow its own rules on approval of Intoxilyzer 8000 breathalyzer devices for local law enforcement agencies.

Concerns about accuracy of this machine have been echoed throughout the country for years, but this is a new angle on it.

And in California, thousands of DUI cases are in limbo as a result of allegedly faulty breathalyzer results. San Francisco Police are accused of collecting some 1,000 faulty BAC readings over the course of a decade as a result of failure to properly calibrate and maintain their 20 breathalyzer machines. The devices were supposed to be tested three times a month for accuracy. However, the department overlooked this little detail, and as a result, defense lawyers are pushing to have all those cases dismissed. The department has temporarily stopped using the devices.

You may think the higher the BAC, the harder your case is to beat. But let’s take the example of the 24-year-old Iowa man who was recently arrested for driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.627. You read that correctly. While the legal limit for alcohol consumption behind the wheel is 0.08 percent, this man had nearly eight times that in his system. But here’s the thing: That is considered by most medical professionals to be a fatal dose, even for someone who is a seasoned alcoholic. In order for his blood alcohol level to be that high, he would have had to consume 35 drinks in four hours. That’s one drink, every seven minutes, for four hours straight. At that level, a person would be losing the ability to breathe and pump blood. Yet, this man was behind the wheel of a vehicle and talking to police (albeit semi-incoherently). What this tells us is not that this man is a miracle, but rather that the breathalyzer was inaccurate.

If you were arrested for DUI on New Year’s Eve in D.C., call us today to find out more about how we can assist you. Contact the Scrofano Law, PC for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights or fill out our online contact form. Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards accepted. Call 202-765-3175.