If you are pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, you may be asked to submit to a chemical test. Two separate tests may be performed. The first is a portable test, called a PBT or Alco Sensor, which measures whether alcohol is present. The second test, typically performed at the police station, is more thorough and involves the use of an Intox EC IR II machine. It may be possible to successfully challenge these results and help avoid the harsh punishments that come with a driving while impaired conviction.
At the Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly, our chemical test lawyer in Charlotte is committed to protecting the rights of those accused of a DWI.
Pulled over for driving while impaired? Contact our Mecklenburg County defense attorney online or call 704-376-9376. Do not waive your right to legal representation.
Challenging The Results Of Breath Tests
Administration of a PBT or Alco Sensor test is typically the first step in a DWI/drunk driving arrest and possible DWI charges. The results of this test are usually forbidden from being used as evidence against you at trial. You may also refuse to take this test without suffering any additional consequences, although refusal will almost always lead to an arrest and require submission to an Intox EC IR II test at the police station.
The Intox EC IR II test performed at the police station is designed to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). A BAC reading of .08 or higher means that you are considered to be over the legal limit for driving. Refusing to take this test may result in significant penalties. However, there are circumstances where refusing the Intox EC IR II may be in your best interests. There are a number of defenses that may be raised regarding the results of this test, including:
- Improper machine calibration or maintenance
- Improper training of the machine operator
- No probable cause to make the stop in the first place
Blood Test In DWI Cases
Police may also ask for, or in some cases compel, the taking of a blood sample. This highly invasive, potentially risky, procedure need not be done by a doctor or a nurse or even in a hospital. Instead, it can be done by "any qualified person." A Court Order, Magistrate's Order or search warrant may not be needed in special instances. Some consider it to be a more accurate reading of alcohol concentration than breath testing. However, the results may be suppressed if we can establish:
- No reasonable articulable suspicion to stop you in the first place
- Improprieties in the establishment or management of any DWI roadblock or checkpoint
- Unacceptable delay in analysis of the blood
- Proper procedures were not followed in requesting or compelling the blood sample
- Law enforcement did not have proper authorization from a neutral and detached judicial official
Delayed Release In DWI Cases
We often hear about defendants who are delayed in getting released from the jail after their DWI arrest. This delay can result in getting your own blood test to be futile, due to the lapse of time. Case law in North Carolina has, for decades, acknowledged that the body's alcohol content dissipates by the minute and a DWI defendant cannot get his or her own blood test if he or she is stuck in the jail and he or she may be thereby denied a fair trial if he or she is kept in due to jail processing issues.
In many instances, the magistrate is required by law to authorize the release of a DWI arrestee without requiring any kind of monetary bond (essentially for free), unless there are prescribed reasons.
As an experienced DWI lawyer, Chris Connelly will evaluate this defense based upon:
- The existence of a breath or blood sample by police
- Whether the client refused the test
- The availability of defense witnesses
- The length and reasons for any delay
- Whether you were required to pay a bond to get released without proper reasoning
- Whether your efforts to get your own independent test were frustrated by the delay
More Than 25 Years Of Drunk Driving Defense Experience
Whether it is your first offense or you have multiple DWI offenses, it is important to protect yourself and aggressively fight these accusations. Criminal defense attorney Chris Connelly has more than 25 years of legal experience. He will fight to protect your rights and your interests.
Contact Us Regarding Mecklenburg, Cabarrus and Gaston Cases for Defense Against Blood or Breath Test Refusal
If you have been charged with breath test refusal or have failed an Intox EC IR II test, get legal help immediately. Contact our Charlotte chemical test attorney online, or call 704-376-9376 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.
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