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Are breathalyzer results sufficient to prove DUI first offense?

Recently, the highest court in another state ruled that Breathalyzer tests may not always be accurate. Nevertheless, this is a fact that Georgia criminal defense attorneys have known for years. Indeed, when defending an individual against DUI -- whether it be DUI first offense, DUI second offense or some other charge -- defense attorneys know about the potential inaccuracy of Breathalyzer tests.

Just because a Breathalyzer test shows that an individual had a high blood-alcohol content does not necessarily mean that the results are true. In fact, courts are also aware of the potential for inaccuracy concerning such results. For this reason, a Breathalyzer test alone may not be sufficient evidence to convict an individual of DUI.

No one will argue with the fact the drunk driving is wrong. Just the same, no one will argue that providing false evidence is correct. Indeed, certain procedures must be followed when a law enforcement officer administers a Breathalyzer test. Moreover, the machine must be calibrated properly before its use. When these procedures are not followed correctly, the test results may be deemed inaccurate and could be thrown out as evidence in court.

Any individual who has been charged with DUI first offense or other DUI offenses in the state of Georgia will remain innocent of the charges until -- and only if -- he or she is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. In some cases, doubt may be cast upon the prosecution's reliance on Breathalyzer test results, especially if those test results were from a machine that was not maintained in accordance with law. The best first step is to arrange a careful review of all evidence that prosecutors intend to use at trial to assess the strength of the government's case and to decide upon the most effective approach to safeguard the legal rights of an accused individual.

Source: okcfox.com, Okla. Supreme Court rules breathalyzer tests not always accurate, Kisha Henry, Jan. 29, 2014