Fort Lauderdale Failure to Conduct The Observation Period Attorney
If you were arrested for driving under the influence after taking a breath test, you need a Fort Lauderdale failure to conduct the observation period attorney to fight your charges. One of the ways in which your attorney may challenge the breath test results is by gathering evidence that shows what happened during the twenty-minute observation period before taking the test. Below is more information about this observation period, and how it may help you beat your charges.
Video is Useful in Proving Failure to Conduct the Observation Period
Many jurisdictions use video equipment during breath testing. This video surveillance equipment may be installed in a testing room at the police department, or an officer may be wearing a body cam. The video footage taken during the observation period is often the best evidence to prove the officer did not observe the defendant for the entire 20 minutes before administering the test. If the video footage proves this, the court may throw out the results, which is very helpful when trying to beat your charges.
The 20-minute observation period that is required under Florida law is crucial. The purpose of this waiting period is to ensure the defendant does not regurgitate, burp, vomit, or consume unknown substances. All of these could alter the results of the test and render them inaccurate.
“Close and Continuous Observation” is Necessary to Avoid Failure to Conduct the Observation Period
In addition to the amount of time an officer must wait before administering the test, police officers must also follow certain procedures when monitoring the defendant during that time. The law requires a “close and continuous observation” period or, it will be determined that the proper practices were not followed.
For example, a police officer may pull someone over for a suspected DUI and ask them to take a breath test. The officer may even tell the driver that they have to wait a 20-minute observation period before they can take the test. However, if the officer talks on their cell phone, goes back to their vehicle, or otherwise fails to observe the driver for the full 20 minutes, they did not provide close and continuous observation. The results of the breath test can then be thrown out.
When police officers fail to properly conduct the observation period, and for the required amount of time, a attorney can file a motion to suppress. This will prevent the test results from being admissible in court, which is often the strongest piece of evidence for the prosecution. Sometimes, test results are the only piece of evidence the prosecution has for their case.
Call Our Failure to Conduct The Observation Period Attorney in Fort Lauderdale Today
If you have been charged with a DUI and the officer did not properly administer the breath test, our Fort Lauderdale failure to conduct the observation period attorney at Meldon Law can advise you of your legal options. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.