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Defendant Contests Accuracy of Breathalyzer in DWI Case


A man filed an appeal from the decision of the first district court of Nassau County concerning its judgment of DWI and over speeding law suit.

The incident happened when a Nassau County police officer observed that the man’s traveling is at about 90 miles per hour on the Long Island Expressway. The officer confirmed that his estimate is done by a laser device and by his speedometer. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the officer stopped the man and found out that the man showed several signs of intoxication. The man admitted to having a drink and the officer administered a series of field sobriety tests, all of which the man failed. The officer arrested the man and transported him to the police department, where the man again failed a series of sobriety tests and permitted to a chemical test of the alcohol content of his blood. The test, conducted through a breath test instrument revealed a result of.11 per centum by weight.

The man wanted to bring in an expert testimony as to the range to get the concentration of alcohol in a person’s blood from the quantity of alcohol vapor detected in a breath sample. The man did not challenge the instrument’s reliability, but sought to lay the foundation for a jury argument that man’s individual ratio might differ so significantly from the mean as to diminish the verification weight to be accorded the test results. The court disallowed the evidence on ground of relevance.

Based on the record, the scientific accuracy of breath testing instruments approved by the State Department of Health is no longer open to question. A consequence of the general acceptance in the scientific community of the reliability of the results of blood alcohol testing by such instruments is that it is no longer necessary to establish through foundational evidence the reliability of the test results by means of expert testimony. The presumption of reliability extends to the scientific premises underlying the operation of breath test instruments, including the validity of the partition or conversion ratio.

The deficient evidence by the man that his personal conversion ratio differs so significantly from the mean as to materially undermine the weight to be given the test result, it cannot be said that the test so erroneously recorded his blood alcohol content as to render his conviction wrongful. The evidence, although technically relevant, will be excluded if it is too slight, remote, or hypothetical to have a legitimate influence in determining the fact at issue. Bronx Criminal Lawyer the court did not abuse its responsibility in rejecting the man’s offer of proof which, while involving matters not theoretically irrelevant, was not shown to have probative value above the slight, remote, or hypothetical and amounted to little more than an invitation to speculate.

In the man’s argument that the blood alcohol test result was irrelevant because the presence of numerous persons moving between the observing police officer seated 5 to 10 feet from the man, prevented the officer from maintaining a continuous observation to the man for the 15-minute period prior to the test, is also without merit. Proof of the necessary continuous observation is not a predicate condition to admit breathalyzer test results but rather, it goes only to the weight to be afforded the test result, not its acceptability. Moreover, the observation requirement is not strictly construed.

The court decides based on the weight of the reliable evidence, and satisfied that the judgment concerning the man’s DUI and over speeding case was not against the weight of the evidence. The court also considered the man’s remaining arguments however find it unpreserved or without merit. The decision of conviction is confirmed.

There are instances that unexpected situation occur. In times that we drive under the influence of alcohol, getting arrested is not from afar. Whether you have been charged with a DWI, theft crime, or sex crimes, the legal team from Stephen Bilkis and Associates can provide you with sound legal assistance.

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