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The complexity of a certified breath test

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2021 | OWI |

When a police officer pulls someone over and suspects they are driving under the influence of alcohol, they will begin investigating. A series of questions and field sobriety tests will follow and may lead to the driver being required to take a certified breath test, or CBT.

The many rules controlling a certified breath test

Administering a CBT is no simple task. The law requires a police officer to follow a very specific set of instructions. Failing to follow those instructions properly can create evidentiary issues with a subsequent prosecution or invalidate the test entirely.

The officer must ensure that the driver did not put anything in their mouth for 15 minutes prior to the test. This includes eating and smoking.

The machine must be in its ready mode and properly initiated by the officer. They then have to sign into the machine and correctly enter the date and time the 15-minute waiting period began. They must be the officer who was in control of the driver for the 15 minutes. If a different officer was in control of the driver, their information must be correctly input into the machine.

The officer must then enter the incident number associated with the stop and the driver’s information.

When the machine directs them to, the officer must attach a new mouthpiece, instruct the driver to blow into it and then discard the used mouthpiece.

Finally, the officer has to print the instrument’s report, check the reported value and verify that the date and time are correct before signing the report.

The CBT is but one step in a DUI investigation which must be done properly for any prosecution to succeed. The attorneys at Kammen & Moudy have the knowledge to delve into each stage of that investigation and the experience to discover when errors are made.