Blood and Breath Alcohol Evidence in Los Angeles DUI Investigations
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Clearly, the pendulum in Los Angeles DUI cases has swung too far in the opposite direction: The results of all-too-fallible blood-alcohol tests are today accorded far more stature than they deserve. This is a reality that the Los Angeles DUI defense attorney must learn to deal with. He must constantly struggle to de-sanctify the DUI testing procedures. Certainly, he must convince the jury that the procedure used in the case was not only generally unreliable but faulty as applied to the defendant.
The Los Angeles DUI lawyer will discover one benefit from this general feeling of reverence or mysticism toward the blood-alcohol reading. Many Los Angeles prosecutors, particularly inexperienced ones, will present the testimony of the police officer as almost an afterthought, relying instead on the blood-alcohol evidence to convict. Never mind that the officer can testify that the defendant was falling down and incoherent, the prosecutor will hurry on so that he can display the magic number to the jury. This is a common but serious tactical mistake, and one that the Los Angeles DUI lawyer should take advantage of by shifting the focus of the trial from the defendant to the blood-alcohol test. The issue is changed subtly from the intoxication of the defendant to the accuracy of the testing procedure. Prosecutors can be protective of their chemical evidence and will concentrate their efforts on defending against the attacks of defense counsel on the breath machine, urinalysis, or blood analysis. The ultimate question in the jury's mind will subtly shift from one of whether the defendant was under the influence to one of whether the test was valid. If it was not valid, the defendant may well be acquitted, regardless of other damning evidence. In other words, the DUI defense lawyer has succeeded in putting the blood-alcohol test on trial.
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