Contact Experienced Chicago Breathalyzer Test Attorney Michael P. Schmiege Today for an Aggressive and Effective Defense against Breathalyzer Testing Results
When you get a DUI conviction, you face a suspended driver's license, possible prison time and heavy fines, lost career prospects, and a criminal record. Successful challenges to DUI charges, especially when you've failed a Breathalyzer test, require experience, in-depth knowledge, and complex arguments. You can't do it alone. For a FREE, private legal consultation to answer your urgent questions about your DUI charge, contact experienced Illinois DUI Breathalyzer Defense Lawyer Michael P. Schmiege today.
The Breathalyzer is a machine designed to measure your blood alcohol concentration by analyzing a sample of your breath. Law enforcement officers use Breathalyzer testing as a regular means of obtaining evidence of intoxication to be used against you in your DUI case.
But many experts agree that breath testing is an inaccurate means of measuring your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). One study concluded that as much as 25% of all test subjects receive an inaccurate, elevated BAC reading when they blow into a Breathalyzer device. Improper use and calibration, inadequate training on the device, and normal wear and tear can negatively impact the accuracy of the Breathalyzer testing machine.
But you can count on prosecutors to try to get the Breathalyzer evidence against you admitted in court. They will use your test results as strong evidence against you at your trial. The jury likely won't know about just how inaccurate those Breathalyzer test results could be unless your Chicago Breathalyzer Test Attorney brings it to their attention.
You might actually experience two types of breath test. Out in the field, law enforcement officers use the Portable Breath Test (PBT), which we discuss below. But PBT results aren't admissible against you in Illinois court. But they can be used as "probable cause" to arrest you for DUI.
It's the Breathalyzer test, administered at the police station usually, that you need to be concerned about. Only after the officer has arrested you for DUI can he demand under Illinois law that you take the Breathalyzer test. The officer must read you warnings giving you notice of the consequences of failing the test and of refusing to take the test.
Officers are also required to observe you for 20 minutes prior to administering the Breathalyzer test. If the officer failed to follow the 20-minute waiting period, then your Illinois DUI Breathalyzer Defense Lawyer can challenge your test.
Illinois law at 625 ILCS 5/1-501 (a)(1) provides that a driver with a BAC level of 0.08% or higher is "per se" guilty of drunk driving. This means that the prosecutor doesn't need to prove that you were driving "under the influence" on alcohol. He or she only needs to prove that you had a BAC level of 0.08% or higher.
So a properly given Breathalyzer test with test results of 0.08% or higher gives the prosecutor powerful evidence to use against you. Without this Breathalyzer test result, the prosecutor must resort to the more challenging task of proving that you were driving "under the influence" of alcohol. Without test results, the prosecutor will have to rely on the weaker evidence of officers' subjective observations and your Illinois DUI Breathalyzer Defense Lawyer has a better chance of overturning the prosecution case.
A Breathalyzer test result showing a BAC less than 0.08% will generally not result in a DUI charge. But an officer convinced that you were driving impaired may charge you with driving "under the influence" of alcohol. And 625 ILCS 5/11-501 (2)(c) allows evidence of your refusal to take a Breathalyzer test to be admitted against you in court. And refusal to take the test leads to automatic suspension of your driver's license.
Breath test results are subject to many variables and inaccuracies. Atmospheric pressure, temperatures, the chemical composition of your individual blood, your medical condition, your physical activity, and hyperventilation are among the factors that can impact your test results and cause them to be misleading or inaccurate. Recent exposure to gasoline fumes, paint, lacquer, dry cleaning fluids, and other substances containing alcohol can also cause your test results to be inaccurate.
The basic fact is that, whatever arresting officers and prosecutors might like everyone to believe, Illinois DUI Breathalyzer Defense Lawyers realize that breath testing is inaccurate. Interfering substances and improper testing procedures can lead to misleading breath test results. And almost all experts on the subject concede that a single breath test is unreliable. More than one is required on each suspect to establish validity of the results. Illinois breath tests have several problems including non-specificity for ethanol and a 12.5% variance rate.
So don't accept DUI conviction as an inevitable result of "failing" Breathalyzer test results. Get the aggressive legal help you need to challenge your Breathalyzer test. Contact Chicago Breathalyzer Test Attorney Michael P. Schmiege today for a free legal consultation. (312) 906-7800
NOT GUILTY – Possession of a Controlled Substance w/ Intent to Deliver
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol – NOT GUILTY
"Michael Schmiege is an excellent attorney. He is honest, diligent and gets great results. If you find yourself in need of a lawyer, he is great at what he does. Never over-promises, but definitely delivered more than we had hoped for. His team will help you all the way. Answers all your questions promptly and clearly states what to expect. I highly recommend Michael and his team. They CAN and will help!"
"Mr. Schmiege is well respected by the court because he is a very honest man. He was very kind and respectful to me. His fees were reasonable. His office is very easy to find, and his staff is very helpful."
"I am so appreciative of the help and support that I received from Michael and his team members! They truly helped me figure out my case and I got outstanding results. If anyone can help you get great results, it’s Michael. I had an immigration issue as well and he worked with my immigration lawyer to help find the best solution. He understood that I made a mistake but it didn’t define who I was. I definitely don’t want to go through any of this again but I’m glad that I had the support to get through this."