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Breath Test Lack of Specificity Case

State v. D.C.

Blood / Alcohol Content (BAC):



Interfering Chemicals

Defense Attorney:

Matthew B. Nichols


Operating Under the Influence-3rd offense (OUI, DUI, DWI)

Maximum Sentence:

364 days in jail (minimum 7 days in jail, 18 month license suspension, $500 fine)


Client had a prior drunk driving conviction; accordingly he was facing 7 to 364 days in jail and an 18 month license suspension in addition to fines ranging from $500 to $2,000. Client was a self-employed long haul trucker and, if convicted, would lose his rig and his business. Client was stopped for a motor vehicle defect; “failed” the field sobriety tests and blew a .14% BAC on the Intoxilyzer 5000. Client admitted drinking four or five beers.

After a 1-day jury trial, Client was acquitted after about 1 hour of deliberations. The defense called Dr. Carolyn Howard as an expert to, among other things, show that Client’s true blood alcohol level was only about .02% and to educate the jury regarding the “lack of specificity” in Intoxilyzer testing (including the potential for error due to the presence of “interfering substances”). Client also testified regarding his exposure to a number of such substances.


Not Guilty

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