The show Mythbusters once did an episode where the hosts attempted to beat a breathalyzer by trying many of the common urban legends. They attempted to place pennies, batteries, breath mints, and even onions in attempt to mask the amount of alcohol in their system. The bottom line, none of the methods that they tried worked. Certainly, people have tried all sorts of crazy things to beat a breathalyzer, from eating their own underwear, to rolls of toilet paper, to the more discussing, eating their own bodily waste. The bottom line, none of these things worked.
So how do you beat the breathalyzer? Well, in most instances you simply can’t. Most breathalyzer machines maintained by law enforcement simply are very accurate and very well maintained. Most people simply beat the breathalyzer by not taking the breathalyzer test. To be certain, beating the breathalyzer this way does a couple of things. First, it all but guarantees that your license will be suspended for a period of one (1) year. Indiana has an implied consent law that simply means by being a licensed driver you are essentially consenting to take a breathalyzer if an officer believes he or she has probable cause to arrest you for operating while intoxicated.
Refusal of the breathalyzer test and OWI cases
Refusing the breathalyzer does not give the State a slam dunk in terms of being able to charge you under I.C. 9-30-5-1, meaning that you can be charged with a Class C Misdemeanor OWI by having a ACE (Alcohol Concentration Equivalent) of .08 to a .14, or a Class A Misdemeanor by having an ACE of .15 or greater. However, the State can still charge you with Operating a Vehicle Intoxicated or Operating Vehicle Intoxicated While Endangering Person even without a breathalyzer test result. This does make things a little more complicated for the State in terms of presenting evidence at trial. Now, if you were extremely intoxicated and tripping all over yourself when you were trying to take the Field Sobriety Tests, then it is likely that the officer’s testimony could be enough to convict you. However, if you are in a scenario where it may be questionable as to whether or not the person was intoxicated, then the refusal may have potentially saved a person from a conviction for an OWI.
Lastly, an officer can seek to have a warrant for a blood draw performed. If this happens, then there are some timing issues that could come into play as far as the quality of the evidence being presented at trial.
Basically, beating the breathalyzer is hard and the law has been written in such a way that the State has been given quite a few advantages when it comes to OWI cases, however, there are many things that can impact the OWI case so it is best to discuss your case with an attorney to see what some of the better options are for your particular facts. Contact me today for a free phone consultation.