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How Can a Lawyer Defend the Chemical Test Results?

When applying for an instruction permit or driver’s license, you must do the following:

Before submitting to any type of chemical test, you can ask to speak with an attorney for legal advice.

Challenging the Breath Test Results
There are several ways in which a criminal defense attorney can challenge the breath test results, which may include:

• The test was not administered properly
• The test administrator was not trained properly
• The machine was not maintained properly or calibrated correctly
• The result was affected by the person’s medical condition (diabetes, asthma, acid reflux disease)
• The driver was exposed to chemicals while painting, varnishing or cleaning

For breath test results to be suppressed, the judge must rule that the results are unreliable. There have been numerous scientific reports that the Intoxilyzer 5000 machine becomes unstable when in close proximity to other devices emitting radio waves, such as a police officer’s radio.

Challenging the Blood Test Results
The most common reasons to challenge the blood test results include some of the following:

• Flaws in the blood test kit used, i.e. not sealed or stored at proper temperature
• The sample became tainted
• The sample was improperly labeled
• The test was not administered by a certified individual
• The test results were not examined by an approved hospital or laboratory
• The protocol for chain of custody was not followed
• A swab containing alcohol was used to clean the skin area
• The blood was not drawn within a reasonable amount of time after the arrest

Criminal defense attorneys have also been successful in challenging the method of testing that was done.

Challenging the Urine Test Results
Each state has a set of procedures that must be followed when conducting a urine test. The results may be challenged if law enforcement did not follow the established guidelines. The urine test is the least reliable of the three chemical tests and is primarily used to detect the presence of drugs. However, the test results can be challenged for the following reasons:

• The test cannot specifically determine when a drug was actually used

• The test involves water instead of the person’s blood. Therefore, the result is inflated because the concentration of alcohol in the person’s urine is about 1.33 times the concentration of alcohol in the person’s blood at the same time.

• The lab performing the test was not approved by the state

• A false positive for heroin was triggered by another drug, such as codeine because drug screens tend to confuse similar chemical compounds.

Nearly every state in the nation uses a testing method called “first void”. This describes the method of testing in which the first urine sample is discarded and a second urine sample is used for testing. However, the State of Minnesota does not follow this protocol. The results are inaccurate because the urine tested does not accurately reflect the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood at the time of the alleged offense.

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