Someday soon, an alcohol detection device may prevent you from starting your car if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) registers 0.08 or above.
An amendment to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act recently introduced into Congress would do just that. It seeks $60 million for research and development for such devices. The bill's backers hope for reliably accurate devices that sense alcohol in a driver's breath, or in perspiration when holding the steering wheel — or even uncover it by scanning a driver's retina.
DWI Cases – State Issues?
Advocates of states' rights are opposed to the devices. Jim Baxter, president of the National Motorists Association said, “Many of our members are against Congress imposing dictates on the states.” He added, “We think the [state] courts are in the best position to make the decision.”
The American Beverage Institute (ABI) is opposed to the measure. Managing Director Sarah Longwell said, “Everyone opposes drunk driving, but putting alcohol detectors in all cars as standard equipment … would make all driving Americans guilty until proven innocent every time they started their cars.”
A Problem to Every Solution
A DWI test is not infallible. Many well-known and experienced DWI attorneys are strongly opposed to the measure. Not only does it presume someone is guilty until proven otherwise, but attorneys specializing in DWI cases have seen a plethora of testing inaccuracies. Some machines have given false-positive results, some are not calibrated correctly, and some have been poorly maintained.
Being pragmatic, experienced DWI lawyers also believe that those who want to drive, regardless of how much they have had to drink, will be the ones to find a way to tamper with alcohol detection devices.
Finally, many DWI lawyers say such devices beg the question of maintenance. Who can guarantee whether the devices will continue to work properly, who would be responsible for maintenance, and who would pay for it? This is already a problem with existing testing equipment.
DWI in New Hampshire
New Hampshire has some of the toughest DWI laws on the books. If you are convicted, your sentence could be be anywhere from three days to several years.
If the case against you is based on mechanical testing results, call a DWI attorney immediately. You need one that understands the technology behind current alcohol detection devices and their potential unreliability, one that will protect your rights under the law, and one who will represent you aggressively.