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Possible Problems with North Carolina DWI Breath Test – Part 1

  • By James Cummings
  • May 08, 2014
Whether stopped for a wreck or stopped because of a checkpoint, you want to know how to formulate a defense to your DWI charges, so that you can avoid jail time, fines, fees, probation, a license suspension, and spikes in your insurance rates. In today’s post and a few to follow, we are going to talk about possible issues with breath samples in North Carolina DWI cases.

Even though popular lore suggests that breath tests are accurate-- research shows that these tests can be flawed.  Today, we are going to address one of the curious (and, in retrospect, obvious) ways in which breath tests can yield so called “false positives.” (In other words, the breath test may show that you appear to be over the legal limit, when in fact, you are not.)

In almost every case, a law enforcement officer will ask you to “take a deep breath” and then blow as hard as you can into the ECIR machine. The reason is that he knows that the deeper the breath you take, the higher your BAC reading will be, all things being equal. This may not matter, if you are substantially over the legal limit.

But let’s say that your actual BAC level is 0.07% – just one hundredth of a percentage under the legal limit. You're very close. If you take a very deep breath, the extra alcohol carried in that breath might push you over the limit and lead to your arrest and ultimately to a conviction and a lot of trouble.

If you or a friend needs help fighting back against your North Carolina DWI arrest, call The Cummings & Kennedy Law Firm team today for a free consultation.