Scientific Issues to Consider in DWI Cases
New Hampshire DWI Attorneys Explain Scientific Evidence
Increasingly, the state relies on scientific evidence to prove drunk driving
and impaired driving cases. In traditional cases, the state seeks to administer a
breath test at the police station or state police barrack. The machine used by law
enforcement in New Hampshire is known as the "Intoxilyzer 5000"
and it is not infallible. It requires a specific waiting period, instructions
to the subject of the test, regular maintenance and calibration and administration
by a certified breath test operator.
Critically, this machine tests alcohol content at the time the test is
taken and not at the time that a suspect was actually operating a motor
vehicle. During the time in between, alcohol content can change, sometimes
dramatically. It is possible for alcohol content to rise in the time that
it takes for the police to administer the test. Collecting information
regarding a client's height, weight, alcohol and food consumption
may permit our attorneys to enlist an expert to challenge breath test evidence.
Additional Factors in Your Driving While Intoxicated Case
In addition to the typical test at the station, certain New Hampshire police
officers and state troopers seek to administer a test on the roadside,
known as a preliminary breath test (PBT). There are several different
PBT devices in use in New Hampshire and the state's own training materials
call into question the reliability of this type of testing. Preliminary
breath testing implicates important constitutional concerns. This type
of test does not create a second sample for independent analysis by our
defense team. This defect results in constitutional and statutory challenges
to the admissibility of such evidence, arguments that our attorneys have
won in New Hampshire courts.
More and more, New Hampshire law enforcement officers and state troopers
are requesting that our clients submit to blood testing to examine both
blood alcohol content in addition to the possible presence of controlled
drugs. In drug related impairment cases, the State tends to rely on an
expert to offer an opinion that the presence of certain drugs at certain
levels will result in impairment. In our experience, the State often overreaches
in coming to such opinions.
Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., our
New Hampshire DWI defense attorneys frequently rely on experts in the field to counter this evidence, an effort
which can both result in an effective defense at trial and an improved