Does a Breath Test Result of .08 Mean You Will Be Found Guilty?

Interviewer: With the driver’s license division, does a breath test result of .08 automatically constitute that person’s going to be found guilty? Is that a losing case? Is there still a chance if it exceeds it, like maybe if it’s .09? Does that person still have a chance?

A Skilled Attorney Has Tools to Disprove the Allegation of Impairment

Matthew Nebeker: Absolutely. At the driver’s license hearing, if it’s .08, there is a better argument that the person should not have their license suspended than there is if it’s .16, double the limit. We can sometimes make those arguments against the driver’s performance on the field sobriety test. If he actually passed one or two of the field sobriety tests, we can make an argument that the person wasn’t impaired.

The field sobriety tests say that if someone gets a certain number of points or clues against them, then they should be considered a .10. If they only have one or two clues and they blow the .08 or .09, we can say, “Well, we have two conflicting factors going on here. The field sobriety tests would indicate that they’re not over the limit. But the machine is saying that they are over the limit.”

We make the argument that the field sobriety tests are a better indicator, so to speak, then the machine. Then we take the tolerance factor because every machine is not 100% accurate all of the time. We can take the tolerance factor of the machine in and subtract that. If that brings us down below the .08, and add the argument of the good performance on the field sobriety test, then sure, we have a winning argument.

A Disconnect Case

Sometimes, it’s called a disconnect case. I’ve had people where they’ve done fairly well on the field sobriety test and they’ve blown a .17. We make the argument disproving impairment because of the way they look on the video and the way they’re talking. There’s no way they could be this high of a level and still be able to function at that level.

It’s always better to go and have a DUI attorney look at these issues for the person. Any case can be a winning case, depending on how the evidence. Even the double the limit cases, can be made into a good case with winning arguments.

Can an Attorney Help Address an Old Infraction That May be Hindering Your Ability to Drive Currently?

Interviewer: If someone moved to Utah but the DMV won’t issue a license because of an old DUI or an old citation from 10 years ago. Would a lawyer help me get those removed or taken care of?

Matthew Nebeker:  Absolutely, and that happens a lot. We have people that come here and they might have a speeding ticket here and they forget to take care of it. They’re busy, they’re here for a wedding or funeral, and they go back home.

Here, the courts issue a failure to appear for not handling speeding ticket. That failure to appear triggers a license suspension by driver’s license division. Next thing you know, the person is back in their home state and they get pulled over for driving on a suspended license. It’s always good to have an attorney help you clear up those things.

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