This may include walking a straight line and turning or standing on one foot. The officer may also test for horizontal gaze nystagmus (shaking of the eyes).
Next, the officer must decide if there is probable cause for an arrest. If so, the driver is asked to take a breath test. When using DMT, certain steps must be followed.
Only a certified DMT operator can perform the test. The DMT machine must have an “Accuracy Check” completed before the driver completes the test.
Observation of the subject by certified operators for 15 minutes must precede any testing. The subject may not smoke, vomit, or place anything in their mouth during this time.
The results of the test are reported as grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. The operator records the number to the second decimal place. If the blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than 0.35, the officer will call for medical help to ensure the person’s medical safety.
DataMaster DMT Problems
An ABC news affiliated reported on July 14, 2019, that the DMT has given “false-positive” results on occasion. They stated that the machine sometimes rounds the number up instead of down as it’s designed to do. They also reported that the DMT doesn’t reject interceptors leading to elevated readings.
Jan Semenoff, a Forensic Criminalist reviewed 150 driving under the influence (DUI) cases. He stated that he found evidence that “would lead me to believe that people are being convicted on bad evidence… Not insufficient evidence, but bad evidence.”
Semenoff describes this as very significant. He called for a resolution to the problem of false readings. He believes that some people are being wrongly convicted.
The DataMaster DMT manufacturers stated that these accusations are false. They further said their “internationally accredited calibration laboratory provides evidential breath test instruments…. The results provided… are reliable and admissible.”
The Law Pertaining to the DUI Breath Test
In some states, including Michigan, a police officer can arrest an individual and charge them with Operating While Visibly Impaired (OVWI). This is often called DUI. This charge does not require a minimum BAC of 0.08%.
This type of arrest relies on the discretion of the law enforcement officer. He/she determines if the individual can safely operate a motorized vehicle.
A field sobriety test is voluntary. If the officer asks you to complete this test, you may politely decline or may ask to speak to your attorney. This doesn’t mean that you will be set free at that point.
After refusing a field sobriety test, the driver is often asked to take a breath test, like the DMT. The officer may take the driver to the police department at this point for the test. Refusing to perform the breathalyzer test or provide a blood sample has consequences.
If you’re arrested and charged with a DUI offense, you risk damage to many aspects of your life. Most attorneys advise securing a defense attorney that specializes in DUI cases. The goal is to try and save your driver’s license and reduce or dismiss charges.
The attorney may be able to help you plead to a lesser charge. This may allow you to only pay a fine.
You need to know that all 50 states now have a per se drunk driving law. This means that if you have a BAC equal to or greater than 0.08%, you will be found guilty of DUI. No further evidence is considered at this point.
The bottom line is that having an attorney represent your case will ensure that your interests are fully addressed. Most individuals are not prepared to defend themselves in a courtroom. The attorney will provide you legal counsel and help defend you.
Have You Been Arrested for a DUI?
If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI/OVWI/or DWI, our firm is here to help you. You need to understand your rights. The law allows you to refuse a field sobriety test.
Yet, if you refuse a breathalyzer or blood test, the office may get a warrant to perform these tests. Some individuals question the accuracy and reliability of the datamaster DMT. It’s best to have an attorney to advise you during this process.
Our family-owned business started 30 years ago and has grown from a young married couple to a family of lawyers. We focus on helping members of our community with their legal needs. Our lawyers provide highly personalized service to each client.