Why Does The Prosecution Usually Only Need One Record Of Inspection For The Breath Test Machine In Buffalo?

The rules surrounding what prosecutors in Buffalo area DWI cases must prove to have the breath test score admitted as evidence has developed over decades based on a variety of different court rulings.

While the court in any DWI should require that the prosecution establish that the machine was working properly at the time the defendant was tested, there is no absolute rule regarding what evidence must be submitted to prove this.

In most cases, the prosecution will seek to rely on several documents to establish the accuracy of the machine, including a certification from New York State indicating that the machine had been inspected and tested within six months prior to the defendant’s test and was in proper working order.

This reliance on a single record demonstrating that New York State inspected the machine prior to the defendant’s test is actually a response to a case that took place decades ago in which the court refused to admit the breath test because the machine had not been checked within six months prior to the defendant’s test.

In an effort to avoid having other courts follow this ruling, the state generally makes the effort to have the machines tested every six months so that they can provide proof that it was tested.

While in some cases courts will not allow the breath test to be used as evidence if the prosecution cannot prove that the machine was inspected and tested within six months of the defendant’s breath test, in other cases – especially those where there is other evidence that the breath test machine was accurate – the court may admit the test result but will give the breath test score less weight than usual.

This generally means that if the breath test score is close to the legal limit, the court may find that the prosecution has not proven the machine was accurate enough to convict the defendant of the charge.

Following an arrest for drinking and driving, it is important to have an experienced DWI lawyer who understands the law.

We can be reached at 585-484-7432.

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