December 19, 2016
In the State of Florida, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. A breathalyzer test is the most important evidence for a Florida prosecutor to have at his or her disposal during trial. As such, it is important to use every means possible to try and suppress breathalyzer test results. What follows are some common ways to suppress the use of breathalyzer evidence at trial.
Showing that the Test was not Administered According to Florida Law
Florida has very specific statutory rules for administering breathalyzer tests, viewable here.
First of all, the test must be administered by a qualified person, such as an agency inspector or the arresting officer. The person administering the test must ensure that the person has not consumed anything by mouth (or regurgitated) at least 20 minutes before administering the test. If the administering officer did not comply with this regulation, the breathalyzer evidence can be deemed inadmissible in a court of law.
Any breathalyzer test must also be administered using a machine that has been approved by the state. The machine must have been calibrated, tested, and inspected in accordance with the applicable Florida regulations. If not, there is a strong likelihood that the breathalyzer test results can be suppressed at trial.
Pursuant to the Florida administrative codes (see link above), the breathalyzer test operator must collect at least two samples from the driver. Moreover, these two tests must be conducted within 15 minutes of each other. If the results of the two breath tests are not within 0.02 of each other, a third breathalyzer test should be administered. However, a police officer need only substantially comply with the above-referenced rules. One hundred percent compliance is not required in order for the evidence to be admitted at trial.
Call the Khonsari Law Group Today to Speak with a St. Petersburg DUI Defense Lawyer
At the Khonsari Law Group, our experienced attorneys are ready and able to assist you with your DUI defense. We know and understand Florida law and can assist you with suppressing breathalyzer evidence at trial. Please contact us today at 727-269-5300 for a free legal consultation. If you would prefer to send us an email, please use our online contact form.