Criminal Defense
Simms and Associates

Field Sobriety and Breath Testing

Birmingham, Alabama DUI Attorney

Perhaps you are wondering, "Can I refuse a Breathalyzer?"  Alabama does not recognize a 'right to refuse' a breath test. However, the law does state that if a person refuses the test, no test shall be given. There is an exception to this rule in the event of an auto accident involving serious physical injury or death. Evidence of a refusal can be used against you at trial and your license can be suspended for refusing to submit to testing. If this has happened to you, ask us how we can get your driving privilege reinstated.

What is "blood alcohol level"?  Blood alcohol level (BAC) is a term used to describe the level of alcohol in the bloodstream of a person arrested for drunk driving. It is used in court as evidence of that offense. The most common method of determining BAC is through a breath test, although blood and urine testing is done in some instances. If the level is found to be at or above .08, the test results can establish a presumption of impairment.

Field sobriety tests and breath testing (breathalyzers) are not infallible or above a challenge. There are often standards that are not met or equipment that is faulty. At Simms & Associates in Birmingham, Alabama, it is our job to identify those deficiencies in defending your DUI case.

Negotiating Your Field Sobriety Case

At Simms & Associates, we will make every attempt to work with the prosecution to negotiate a plea bargain based on the evidence, not to mention your demeanor during the arrest. However, if the prosecution is not willing to resolve the situation to your satisfaction, we will diligently defend the case in court.

Fallibility of Breath and Field Sobriety Testing

All testing must adhere to standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is not the only source, as testing is also governed by administrative rules promulgated by the Implied Consent Unit of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.

Cross-examination of the arresting and testing officers is key. To successfully defend you against the DUI charge, we need to find out whether the officer was properly trained to administer the tests, if that training complied with NHTSA standards, and whether proper testing protocol was followed in conducting the tests. Deviations from these standards can result in the suppression of test results entirely or at the very least, create reasonable doubt.

In addition to the officer's training, the reliability and validity of the breath and field sobriety testing are key to your defense. We consider ourselves to be aggressive lawyers who have a high rate of success with DUI cases. If need be, we will file motions or even call experts to the stand to talk about proper administration of those breath and field sobriety tests.

Whether you are facing your first DUI charge or you have been convicted before, your personal and professional life can be significantly impacted. If your rights were violated or the testing you received was insufficient by NHTSA standards, you need a DUI attorney with the knowledge and experience to argue and seek to dismiss your case.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact