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New Court Opinion Hiccup Can Help Cal. DUI Defendants

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By Joel Zand on July 09, 2009 6:41 PM

California's Supreme Court just ruled that defendants charged with DUI crimes can challenge the reliability of breathalyzer tests.

The ruling is a helpful hiccup for Californians and visitors charged with driving under the influence.

The decision applies to 'generic' DUI charges in California which require "proof that the defendant's ability to drive safely was impared because he had consumed alcohol."

Breath-testing machines a/k/a 'breathalyzers' in California incorporate a "partition ratio" of 2,100 to 1 when measuring a person's breath for intoxication. The machines convert a person's breath sample to a blood-alcohol content ('BAC') percentage to determine if it is 0.08 or higher, a BAC level that violates state law.

The new decision will help many California DUI defendants to challenge the reliability of DUI breathalyzer tests.

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