“Margin of error” applies more to public opinion polls than tests used to detect alcohol or drug use by drivers suspected of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Franklin County Drunk Driving attorneys talk more about the accuracy of field sobriety tests, breath tests for blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and blood and urine tests for controlled substances.
What anyone accused of OVI needs to understand is that no test can be assumed to produce 100-percent correct results 100 percent of the time. An experienced and dedicated Franklin County Drunk driving lawyer will work with his/her client to identify inaccuracies in alcohol and drug tests in order to convince a judge or prosecutor to dismiss the driving under the influence charge. What you Need to Know About DUI Charges
Officers Use Subjective Criteria to Judge Field Sobriety Test Performance
The battery of tests police officers ask drivers to perform after a traffic stop or at a DUI checkpoint comes closest to having a margin of error in the traditional sense. Statistics cited in the OVI Interdiction Handbook used to train officers, prosecutors and judges indicate that anywhere from 10 percent to 32 percent of field sobriety tests produce false positives. That is, a person could have a 1 in 3 chance of getting arrested for and charged with OVI because a law enforcement official misjudged the suspect’s ability to track the movement of a penlight with his or her eyes, stand on one leg for a set time, and walk a straight line heel-to-toe.
A perfectly sober person can fail any of these tests for reasons related to health, age, injury, fatigue, or body size. Even suffering from hearing loss can make passing one or more field sobriety test impossible because following spoken instructions precisely is a component of each. Fighting a DUI with Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer
If a prosecutor intends to submit field sobriety performance evidence to support an OVI conviction, a drunk driving defense attorney in Columbus will check how recently the charging officer recertified on judging performance and interrogate the officer regarding which criteria were used to gauge passing or failing. Video from dashboard and body cameras can also help contradict an officer’s description of what happened.
Ohio Guarantees the Right to Challenge BAC Breath Tests
The accuracy of a BAC breath test depends on many factors, including the calibration of the device, the length and force of the exhalation into the device, and the time that elapses between a DUI stop and administration of the test. Problems with breath test accuracy long ago led Ohio courts to rule that readings from handheld devices used by the side of the road are inadmissible as evidence to support an OVI conviction.
In 2014, the Ohio Supreme Court expanded OVI suspects’ right to challenge the evidence against them by telling state-certified laboratories to release breath test error rate information upon request. When a lab cannot or will not provide this information to a suspect’s drunk driving defense lawyer, grounds exist for asking a judge to dismiss the case.
Alcohol and Drug Test Labs Make Mistakes
When performed correctly and in full compliance with procedures spelled out in state statutes and court rules, blood and urine tests will be allowed as evidence of impairment unless reasonable doubt regarding the results of chemical testing is introduced.
A knowledgeable Franklin County drunk driving attorney will review all the paperwork related to sample collection, transportation, processing, and storage. He will also request reanalyses and bring any signs that mistakes were made by the original testers to the court’s attention if necessary.
Do not let field sobriety test assessments or laboratory test results go unchallenged. Contact a Franklin County drunk driving lawyer to discuss ways to identify errors and then use those errors to your advantage. You can request a no-cost, no-commitment consultation with an OVI defense attorney by calling The Maher Law Firm.
This is a guest post written by Jones Law Group. If you need to submit guest post, follow our guidelines.
The post Understanding the Margin of Error appeared first on Find US Lawyers.