f you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test. The Intoxilyzer 9000 is the breath test machine approved by the Rhode Island State Police to be used by all law enforcement officers to test a driver's blood alcohol level (BAC). Only officers who are certified to use the machine are allowed to operate it.
The Intoxilyzer 9000 has a computer software that determine the “average” person's blood alcohol level. The legal limit in Rhode Island (and every state in the US) is .08. For a driver under the age of 21, the legal limit is .02. For a driver operating a commercial vehicle, the legal limit is .04.
Limitations in Breath Testing
The breath test does have limitations and is not 100% accurate or fool proof. In order to receive the most accurate results from your breathalyzer test, the testing process must meet a few requirements:
- A certified breath test operator must be the one administering the breath test.
- The breath test machine must be properly maintained and calibrated.
- Testing must be done in an ideal environment.
As an experienced DUI lawyer in Rhode Island, I have encountered many of these cases and I fully understand the limitations behind the breath test machine. As a result, I know how to approach this issue for each and every case I take on. Each breath test from a client is analyzed to determine a number of things, including:
- Was the breath test machine that was used up-to-date on the day you took your breath test?
- Is the inspection on the machine current?
- Was the test performed in an ideal environment?
- Was the operator of the machine certified with a valid permit?
- Were proper protocols followed during the breath test? (For example, were you observed for 20 minutes prior to testing?)
A good DUI lawyer in Rhode Island won't just rely on the reading, but will challenge the reading to either reduce or completely eliminate the impact it has against you.
Breath Test Refusal
If you refuse to take a breath test when pulled over for suspected drunk driving, you will face consequences. The first consequence you face is that your license will be suspended for six months if this is only your first refusal. For a second or subsequent refusal, your license will be suspended for anywhere between 12 to 24 months.
If it is your second or subsequent refusal, you will face an additional misdemeanor charge of refusing to submit to testing. Lastly, refusal to take the breath test will be used against you in court. Any breath test registering a blood alcohol level of .08 or more will be used as additional evidence against you in a DUI charge.
No matter what the results of your breath test are, an experienced and dedicated DUI lawyer in Rhode Island will understand the limitations of the machine, the defenses available, and will provide strategies to attack the test and the results.
If you are facing a DUI in Rhode Island, please contact me directly so that I may answer any questions you have and provide you with a free case evaluation.