The Breath Machine and Blood Tests

North Carolina and Johnston County now use the Intoximeter to test the breath of citizens charged with DWI or Driving after Consuming under the age of 21.  This machine has recently replaced the Intoxilyzer 5000 as the machine of choice.  One question that we have always wondered in our office is if the old Intoxilyzer machine was so reliable as to be used to convict people based on an .08 reading, why the need for the new machine?  What things did the new Intoximeter fix that the old machine couldn’t and what does this change say for the old convictions and the technology in general?  The answers to that question can be a defense to drivers charged with DWI with low blows and we will use that defense if it is available to our clients.  Knowing how the machine works and the procedures that officers should use when operating the machine is essential in defending DWI cases.

Blood Tests

In other instances an officer can request that a blood test be taken to determine whether a person has above the legal limit of alcohol or some other drug in the body.  Not only can they take your blood, but the District Attorney as now started asking judges to order the hospital to release to them citizens medical records if the person was hospitalized and they suspect that the person may have been drinking and impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.  These records may give alcohol levels that show results that could be hours after any driving may or may not have occurred yet the state will try treat the results as if the results were taken as you were just stepping from the vehicle.  What is more alarming is that within those medical records may be other sensitive health information having nothing to do with alcohol or drugs that the state gets to view because of this order.  We are prepared to fight these orders if need be in order to protect clients’ rights and maintain their privacy.