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What is the 20 minute observation period for a DUI breath test?

A police officer must observe a person for at least 20 minutes prior to administering a DUI breath test in order to ensure that the person has not taken anything by mouth or regurgitated. This is because alcohol or another foreign substance in the mouth may result in a false breath test reading.

The state has the burden to prove that the observation period was substantially complied with. If the 20 Minute observation period was not substantially complied with it may result in the breath test reading being suppressed. If the judge suppresses the breath test result, the prosecutor will no longer be able to use it in court against you.

If you hire us to fight your DUI charge we can order the jail video that should include the 20 minute observation period. We will likely be able to determine if it was complied with after speaking with you and watching the video. Be aware that the jail video is recorded over very quickly. Be sure to contact us soon after your arrest so we can be sure to order the video before the jail records over it.

Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI, Arrest
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