Title 17 DUI Defense


The California Code of Regulations, specifically Title 17, mandates specific requirements for how the DUI chemical breath and blood test results are collected, stored and analyzed.  For example, Title 17 requires that your DUI chemical blood test sample be drawn by a trained technical or nurse, and that the breathalyzer machine testing your DUI breath sample be maintained and calibrated in accordance with strict specifications and schedules.

The person administering any of the tests must be trained and qualified.  He or she must be presently certified in accordance with California law, otherwise the test is invalid.  A flaw or defect in the proof of current certification can lead to a dismissal of the DUI charges or a favorable plea bargain.

Another requirement of Title 17 is a wait-and-observation period imposed upon the police officer administering the DUI breath test.  Under the California DUI law, if the police officer fails to observe a defendant continuously for 15 minutes this can enable your DUI criminal defense attorney to exclude the BAC test results as evidence against you.

Vomiting or burping by a defendant during the start of the DUI breath test will contaminate the mouth by alcohol brought up from the stomach.  The officer is obligated to restart the observation period if vomiting or burping occurs.  His failure to do so will be grounds for the exclusion of the DUI breath test results.

If the testing of your BAC falls short of compliance with Title 17, your DUI criminal defense attorney could successfully argue that the DUI test results the prosecution wants to use against you are unreliable.  The attack against the results based on Title 17 could result either in the exclusion of the results of the DUI test as evidence against you in your DUI criminal case or, if complete exclusion is not possible, in convincing the jury that the testing has been compromised and you should be acquitted.  With respect to your hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the presentation of evidence by your DUI attorney that Title 17 procedures have not been followed, should result in complete setting aside of any DMV action against your driving privileges.