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Cigarette use skews breath test, driver wrongly arrested for DUI

After having been wrongly accused of committing a serious offense in Georgia such as driving under the influence of alcohol, an individual may certainly be relieved when evidence can prove that he or she was not driving drunk or that an arrest was not conducted lawfully. Unfortunately, it can take days, weeks or months in some cases before an individual's name will be cleared of DUI charges.

One driver who was wrongly arrested for DUI earlier this month is now pursing his legal options in order to make sure no other driver has to face the embarrassment and shame that he had to deal with after the wrongful DUI arrest.

The man had been arrested while his young daughters were in the car with him. After the incident, it was discovered that the arresting officer had made several mistakes when administering a breath test.

The 52-year-old man said that he was initially pulled over by police for running a red light. While he was speaking with an officer, the man said that the officer began to question whether he had been drinking. The officer noted in his report that he could detect the odor of alcohol.

The man denied drinking and driving, and he agreed to take a breath test. However, the breath test revealed that the driver's blood alcohol concentration was above the legal limit of 0.08. Despite the reading, the driver continued to tell the officer that he was not drunk. The officer administered field sobriety tests, which the driver passed. But a second breath test revealed another reading above the legal limit.

After the man was taken into custody, it was discovered that the arresting officer had failed to administer both of the breath tests correctly. A third test conducted by another officer revealed that the driver's blood alcohol concentration was 0.00. According to police, the driver had been smoking a cigarette prior to taking the first two tests. Because he had been smoking, the arresting officer should have waited 15 minutes to administer the breath tests.

No charges were filed following the arrest, but the driver is still upset about the incident. Police claim that the incident was a one-time mistake, but now the driver wonders how many other people have been accused of DUI under similar circumstances.

Source: Tri-City Herald, "Kennewick man files claim saying he was falsely arrested for DUI," Paula Horton, August 6, 2012