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Breath test administrators in South Carolina must be certified

Working professionals understand the importance of clearly understanding the tools of their trade. In order to be most effective on the job, training might be necessary. Not only that, but skills may need to be refreshed and sharpened down the road to ensure that individuals are able perform consistently and reliably.

This principle applies to law enforcement officials who operate breath test machines on the job. In fact, South Carolina state regulations require police officers to maintain certification in order to conduct breath tests for driver intoxication.

According to state code, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has broad latitude in granting and revoking credentials to perform chemical analysis -- or breath tests. In order to be certified, breath test operators must demonstrate the ability to provide accurate and reliable breath tests on the specific hardware used by law enforcement. Not only that, but individuals must demonstrate good character in order to be certified.

However, breath test certifications can expire. As such, officers must take whatever steps necessary to renew their certification. Failing to take this step could effectively invalidate any breath test results used in a driving under the influence case.

Keeping this in mind, it may be crucial to verify the credentials of the officer who conducted a breath test in the wake of a DUI arrest. If an officer administers a test with expired or improper credentials for the breath-test device in question, then it's within the realm of possibility that the test was improperly performed.

Source: WestLaw, S.C. Code of Regulations R. 73-3

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