Providing Knowledgeable Legal Counsel Regarding Chemical Testing Issues

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 DWI defense lawyer in Charlotte is committed to protecting the rights of those accused of a DWI.

Challenging The Results Of Breath Tests

Administration of a PBT or Alco-Sensor test is typically one of the first steps in a DWI/drunk driving arrest and possible DWI charges. The numerical results of this test are 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 reasonable suspicion to make the stop or an invalid checkpoint
  • No probable cause to make the arrest

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. 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
  • The "chain of custody" of the blood can not be established.

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 their own blood test if they are stuck in jail. This may result in the denial of a fair trial since their ability to mount a defense has been handicapped.

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.

Call 704-376-9376 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.