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Breathalyzer results thrown out when officer gave poor direction

Numerous posts in this blog have discussed the severity of DUI charges and the potentially lifelong impacts they can have on the accused and convicted. However, other posts have also discussed that defense attorneys are often able to negotiate a better outcome for the defendant based on the details surrounding the traffic stop, search and seizure or more. That is exactly what has happened in a South Carolina case that ultimately resulted in throwing out the Breathalyzer test results in a DUI case.

In South Carolina, an individual was pulled over for drunk driving. As is normal procedure, the individual was asked to take a Breathalyzer test. Upon administering the test, the police officer told the driver to "blow hard" into the Datamaster breath analysis machine. These specific instructions to blow hard ultimately ended up in a judge's dismissal of the results.

Readers may be asking themselves why such verbal direction would matter. In fact, some may think that the harder one would blow, the more accurate the results. The driver's defense attorney proved that, in actuality, the exact opposite is true.

During the arguing of the case, scientists testified that blowing hard into a Breathalyzer can negatively impact test results. According to these experts, a Datamaster breath machine is calibrated for an even, steady flow of air. When someone blows as hard as they can, it may not be a steady flow.

The defense lawyer in this case believes that the judge's decision may impact future cases involving drunk driving. However, according to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, officers are taught to tell suspects to breathe in and then blow as long as they can into the machine.

This case proves that no case is hopeless and that it is always important to seek the assistance of an experienced South Carolina drunk driving defense attorney. There are many nuances regarding Breathalyzer and Datamaster machines that can lead to reduced or dismissed charges. A defense attorney will do what is necessary to ensure, when possible, these lesser consequences are sought out and obtained for the defendant.

Source: Myrtle Beach Online, "Order to 'blow hard' gets DUI test thrown out," March 13, 2013

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