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False positives on DUI breath tests: What you should and shouldn’t do

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The Colorado police officers have made more than 10,000 arrests for DUI and DWI in 2017. The rise of drunken driving resulting in injury or death has made it necessary for the state to take stringent steps against intoxicated drivers. That includes harsh penalties for repeat offenders or habitual DUI offenders. The most recent 2017 Colorado DUI penalty bill added minimum punishment terms for all felony DUI or DWAI convictions. According to the reviewed laws, convicted individuals can face between 90 and 180 days of jail time along with a hefty penalty. The convicted drivers eligible for work release programs can face between 120 days to 2 years of jail time.

When a patrol cop pulls you over at a DUI stop, it can be scary, but it is terrifying when you find yourself under arrest for drunken driving when you have not had any alcohol. It is possible for any person to find themselves under arrest in any state of the US, even when he or she was not driving drunk. How does that happen?

  1. i.Field sobriety tests aren’t accurate

Every police officer in Colorado has to undergo extensive training according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These manuals are the result of comprehensive psychophysical study and analysis of drunken drivers. However, the field tests that are mandatory in many states of the US are not 100% accurate. In many cases, law enforcement officers do not score the tests to remove the artifacts. That can lead to false positives, and it can also invalidate the results. Sadly, without a working knowledge of the DUI laws and the mechanics of the tests, it is impossible for people to prove their innocence after their arrest. Visit German DUI Lawyer Denver to learn more about selecting the right DUI attorneys for representation.

  1. ii.Medicines and health conditions

Certain medicines can cause the Breathalyzer to test positive for alcohol. Certain asthma medication like Albuterol and Salmeterol remain in the airway for long durations. It can create false positive results on the breath test. Several OTC medicines like Vicks, Nyquil, Ora-gel can impact the breath test.

People with chronic stomach problems like gastroesophageal reflux disorder have higher acid content in their breath. It can influence DUI tests. The presence of ketone bodies in the system or auto-brewery syndrome can lead to false positives on the DUI breath test.

Convincing the arresting police officer can be a difficult task even with the prescription of the medicine and diagnosis reports in your glove box. The chance one gets to prove his or her innocence is during the initial stages of trial before the judge. It is essential for anyone to work with an experienced DUI lawyer to thwart the charges and retain his or her driving rights during the trial.

Why should you never take DUI charges lightly in Colorado?

Recent research shows that out of the 20,500 DUI arrests the law enforcement made in Colorado in 2018, around 800 individuals were able to thwart the charges. That means there is a roughly 1-in-25 chance for a person to recover or retain his or her driving rights in Colorado. It is indeed an unfortunate truth for people with chronic diseases or those under medication, which might bring about a false positive in the DUI tests.

Here, you should know that there are two separate hearings for someone facing DUI charges. The Department of Revenue, DMV hearing is entirely different from the criminal hearing process. The double jeopardy laws do not apply to DUI cases. Therefore, even after a person receives a "Not Guilty" verdict in the criminal court of justice, he or she might still have to go through the revocation of their driving license after the DMV hearing. Proving himself or herself innocent in the criminal court is not enough to ward off the cancellation of driving rights by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

What happens when you refuse the breath alcohol test?

According to the latest updates, around 25% of all drivers refuse to take the breath and blood tests in Colorado. As per the DMV data, it is the most common step almost every driver takes after a law enforcement officer pulls them over under the suspicion of drunken driving. After 2016, saying "no" to any of these tests automatically qualifies a person to become a Persistent Drunk Driver (PDD). According to Colorado DUI law, a PDD is a person, who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or higher during his arrest or has multiple prior DUI/DWAI arrests in his criminal record. Becoming a PDD can lead to the revocation of one's driving license, and it can result in the installation of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device in their vehicle.

Proving one's innocence in the face of a DUI conviction is neither straightforward nor quick. It takes the significant experience to gather the correct evidence, file the right paperwork and present the case in front of the judge. Don't waste your time after a DUI arrest. Contact an expert and reputed DUI attorney immediately to retain your driving rights.