Challenging BAC Test Results in a Connecticut DUI

police officer conducting sobriety test concept

If you were stopped and arrested for a DUI in Connecticut, you were asked to submit to a test to determine your Blood Alcohol Concentration, or “BAC.” The results of this test will be one of the most important pieces of evidence in your DUI case.

In Connecticut, the arresting officer can choose the type of test to determine your BAC. The test sample will come from your blood, breath, or urine. If the officer selects a blood test, you have the right to refuse and the officer must offer either a breath or urine test. If the officer offers a breath or urine test and you refuse, you will not be offered another test.

If you submit to the BAC test, you will provide two samples at least 10 minutes apart. The samples will be used to determine your BAC. In Connecticut, you are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if your BAC is .08% or higher. If your BAC is greater than .08%, you risk being convicted of a Connecticut DUI and face penalties that include jail time, fines, probation, suspension of your driver’s license, community service, mandatory substance abuse treatment, and installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) at your expense.

Types of BAC Test

Connecticut police officers can offer three different kinds of tests to evaluate your BAC.

DUI Breath Test

The breath test, commonly known as a Breathalyzer, is the most common form of BAC test. It is the easiest to administer, the most convenient, and the least invasive way to test your BAC.

Most police in Connecticut use the Drager Alcotest 9510 machine to test your BAC. Some police departments also use an Intoxilyzer 5000. Regardless of which machine is used, it will generate a result that shows your BAC level immediately after each test. If your BAC is above .08%, you will be charged with DUI.

DUI Urine Test

In some instances, especially if police believe you are under the influence of drugs but not alcohol, they will offer you a urine test. The urine test is considered to be the least reliable of the three testing methods and it will not produce immediate results.

The sample is sent to the Connecticut Toxicology Laboratory, which will test the sample for the presence of drugs and alcohol. When the test is complete, you and the police will receive a copy of the results. It can take months to complete the test and notify the parties.

DUI Blood Test

A blood test is the most reliable but most invasive way to test a person’s BAC. Because this testing method is the most invasive, you can refuse a blood test and ask for a different test form without penalty. Also, most police departments are not set up to administer blood tests.

Blood tests are usually only administered if you are being processed for a DUI in a hospital. This may occur if you are being treated at a hospital after an accident or are suffering from a medical condition and are taken to a hospital.

Challenging BAC Test Results

If you have been charged with a Connecticut DUI and the police administered a BAC test, your DUI defense attorney can challenge the way the test was administered and the results of the test. If your attorney has the test results excluded from consideration as evidence, the prosecutor will have a much more difficult time proving that you were under the influence of alcohol. The prosecutor will be more likely to either dismiss the case or offer you a plea to a less serious crime.

Admissibility of BAC Test Results

A DUI defense attorney can challenge the admissibility of the BAC test results if:

  • You did not have the opportunity to speak to a lawyer before submitting to the test
  • You were not provided with the test results in a timely manner
  • The police officer was not certified to administer the test
  • The testing equipment was not properly checked for accuracy
  • The test was not performed in accordance with Connecticut’s Regulations on Chemical Testing
  • The second test of the same type, or if a second test of a different type was administered for good cause, was not performed at least 10 minutes after the first test
  • The BAC the did not occur within 2 hours after your arrest

If your attorney can convince the judge that one of these violations occurred, the test result will not be entered into evidence.

Reliability of BAC Test Results

Even if the judge allows evidence of the test result, your DUI defense attorney can challenge the reliability of the test result. Your lawyer can call into question the accuracy of the test result for the following scientific reasons:

  • Retrograde extrapolation to estimate your BAC at the time you were driving
  • Rising BAC
  • Abnormal decline in BAC between the two tests
  • Medical conditions that interfere with the accuracy of the test
  • Medications that alter the accuracy of the test results
  • Problems with the machine that was used to test your BAC

Why Challenge BAC Evidence in a Connecticut DUI?

Evidence of your BAC is probably the most important piece of evidence that will be presented to try to convict you of a DUI. While the prosecutor may present other evidence of intoxication, such as the officer’s opinion of your level of impairment or your performance on Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs), evidence of your BAC is the most compelling and conclusive. If your DUI defense attorney can exclude evidence of your BAC, there is a much greater likelihood that the charges will be reduced or that your case will be dismissed.

Contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm for Aggressive DUI Defense

If you were charged with a DUI in Connecticut, criminal defense attorney Stephen Lebedevitch can help. A seasoned DUI defense attorney, Mr. Lebedevitch has the knowledge and experience to defend you against Connecticut DUI charges. He takes pride in providing an honest and straightforward approach to DUI defense law and understands that a DUI conviction can carry serious consequences.

The Lebedevitch Law Firm offers reasonable flat fees for DUI defense. Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

The Lebedevitch Law Firm proudly represents people who have been charged with a DUI in Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Darien, Rowayton, Fairfield, Trumbull, Westport, Wilton, Weston, Danbury, New Haven, Bethany, Woodbridge, Milford, Stratford, Bridgeport, and all throughout the State of Connecticut.

Categories: DUI