I get a lot of people who come into my office lamenting as if they have already been convicted of DUI...and they haven't even been arraigned yet!
The breath test is scary because we put so much darn faith in it. The prevailing opinion seems to be that if you blow over a .08 (the legal limit in Florida), then you are guilty. No questions asked.
The breath machine - also known as the Intoxilyzer 8000 - is exactly that: a machine.
Machines do not have emotions. They are not capable of free and rational thought. They simply respond to how they are programmed.
But like many machines, breath machines can (and do) malfunction. Their readings can be inaccurate due to human error, or errors built right into machine.
Your microwave is a machine. Your television is a machine. Sometimes they don't work properly. The same goes for the breath machine. If the reading is inaccurate by just a few tenths of a point, your reading can go from under the limit to over. And many many people are arrested each and every day due to faulty breath readings.
A good DUI attorney will never shy away from a case where the client submitted to the breath test. While I advise first-time DUI arrestees to always refuse the breath test (if you have refused a breath test in the past and your license was suspended, a second or subsequent refusal will result in a misdemeanor charge), I still do not find a hunk of antiquated software to be all that intimidating.
In fact, with a little diligence on part of your attorney, sometimes the breath machine's own maintenance records will show glaring problems with the machine. Those errors may help to get your DUI dismissed since the accuracy of the breath machine is now being called into question.
I handle DUIs in Miami-Dade and Broward. If you have been arrested for DUI and have submitted to a breath test, don't give up without a fight. Call me today.