Serving Indiana Since 1994

Can I question the testing procedure in a drunk driving case?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense, DUI/DWI

People who are arrested for drunk driving in Indiana will have a general understanding of some of the testing procedures that law enforcement may conduct. That includes a breath test.

The test consists of the alleged drunk driver blowing into the machine so it can determine the blood alcohol concentration. A driver who registers at least 0.08 will generally be charged with operating while intoxicated.

Just as drivers are required to adhere to the law when getting behind the wheel, those giving the test to determine BAC must also follow the law for giving the test and having properly functioning equipment. This means there are specific standards that they must meet.

There are certain requirements for the breath test to be valid

Those giving the test must be trained and certified to give a breath test. Once the person has been certified, they must send it in written form to the clerk of the circuit court where that person is able to give the breath tests. In addition, the information will be published on the department of toxicology website.

The failure to send or publish this information will not invalidate the test. If the rules are followed and there is an electronic signature, the evidence from the test is admissible.

It will be considered sufficient evidence that the equipment or chemical had been inspected and approved by the state and was working correctly the day the test was given provided the date of approval is at least 180 days before the test. It will also be considered sufficient evidence of following the approved technique in giving the test and that the tester was certified the day the test was given.

Still, there are times when the evidence is inadmissible. If the test operator does not follow the rules; if there are issues with the equipment or chemicals that are part of the test; or if improper technique is used, the evidence might be called into question.

Those arrested for drunk driving should explore all avenues of defense

People who are arrested for OWI must be cognizant of the penalties they may face if they are convicted. That can include a loss of driving privileges, fines and even jail time. There are other problems that arise after a conviction, including potential obstacles in getting certain jobs.

The testing procedure might not seem like a viable aspect of the case to challenge the evidence, but it is possible a mistake was made, the equipment was faulty or the tester was not properly certified. This is just one area where a criminal defense strategy can be effective. For help in formulating a defense, it is vital to have experienced guidance as soon as possible.