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Breathalyzers and DUI cases

California motorists should be aware that there many tests besides the Breathalyzer that can used against them in court as proof that they were over the legal limit while they were operating a motor vehicle. Passing or failing the Breathalyzer test does not result in an automatic conviction or acquittal.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 20 indicators that can be exhibited by a person who may be driving while impaired. Law enforcement officials use these driving patterns as the reason to pull over a vehicle and conduct further investigations. Video footage of the vehicle before the stop occurred and testimony provided by an arresting officer can help build a case for a DUI charge.

The comments a driver makes during the stop may also be admissible in court. It is prudent to decline to answer any questions until they have spoken to an attorney. Any admission of having any drinks of alcohol, in addition to the individual's demeanor, will be included in the police report and can be used as incriminating evidence.

Individuals are required to submit to a Breathalyzer based on implied consent laws. Refusing to undergo the test may result in the suspension of a person's driver's license. An immediate arrest will take place for anyone who has a BAC of 0.08 or higher. Some states may permit a driver to be charged with a DUI if he or she exhibits other types of impairment and has a BAC between 0.05 and 0.07.

Even when the Breathalyzer test has been failed, there are some strategies that a defense attorney can often employ on behalf of a client who has been charged with drunk driving. One could be that the machine was improperly calibrated at the time that the test was administered.

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