Virtually all experts concede that one breath test is unreliable in DUI cases. However, in Illinois, only ONE breath test reading at a police station is required!
The Illinois Supreme Court has remarked that breathalyzers are not foolproof. This concession by Illinois’ highest court has been the law of the state of Illinois for over 30 years. People v. Orth is considered THE authoritative case on summary suspension law and what is needed for the prosecution to lay the foundation for a breath test at a criminal trial. Orth was decided back in 1988.
Originally, breath test rules were made by the Illinois Department of Public Health. After years of litigation and some discoveries from THIS FIRM at trials, rule making authority for breath testing passed to the Illinois State Police. Yes, the very same people trying to obtain arrests, guilty pleas, and convictions get to decide the rules on what needs to be followed for a breath test. Even with this being the case, there are many times where police officers do not follow the Illinois State Police regulations found in the Illinois Administrative Code.
If all of the above issues were not enough for reasonable doubt, breath testing itself is subject to various inaccuracies. First, it is pure and undisputed science that there is a level of uncertainty when measuring anything. The level of uncertainty when measuring something is called the uncertainty (or Heisenberg) principle. Second, Illinois State Police’s own guidelines allow for a plus or minus 12.5% variance when calibrating breath test machines. Next, breath test machines are “self checked” for accuracy by computer and almost never in person. Last, breath test machines are not specific for ethanol, meaning types of artificial sweeteners, yeast, and mints can all trigger an artificially high breath test reading. If someone has a supposed breath reading of .08 or .09, these inaccuracies can prove to be helpful in obtaining a not guilty verdict!
For other information on how breath testing is inaccurate, contact Ramsell & Associates today to see how any and all of these factors can play a role in YOUR DuPage County DUI defense!