A recent Los Angeles Times blog by Susan Brink talks about new tests just like a Breathalyzer that researchers hope will detect drivers operating under the influence of illegal drugs. The National Institutes of Health has reportedly released guidelines on possible ways to conduct these tests. Just as suspected drunk drivers are asked to blow into a Breathalyzer, someone suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana or cocaine may be asked to spit into a cup. Your saliva will then be tested for the presence of drugs.
Experts are hoping that these new guidelines, which are still evolving, will be a good way to identify drivers under the influence of drugs and keep them off the roadways. But the question is: Is this an effective way of finding out if drivers are really impaired? As DUI and drug crime defense attorneys in California, we have consistently found that Breathalyzers that are used in the field by police are not at all an effective measure of blood alcohol content (BAC). A lot of these testing devices are not calibrated properly and show wrong readings, which we have challenged in court and won.
Officials who authorize field tests should seriously consider their efficacy and reliability. First, the tests must be reliable. Secondly, the officers who are conducting the tests should be trained properly and be able to carry out the tests in a proper manner. We’ve seen that hasn’t been the case with Field Sobriety Tests. Even the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) studies show that these tests are not an effective way of measuring whether a driver is intoxicated.
An experienced and knowledgeable Southern California drunk driving defense attorney will be able to help you fight your DUI despite Breathalyzer tests that show a BAC of 0.08 or higher. A truly skilled DUI defense attorney can effectively challenge field sobriety tests and defend the charges against you. If you or someone you love has been arrested on suspicion of a DUI, please call us to schedule a free consultation.