This day in age Alcohol testing plays a role in nearly all DUI / OWI cases in some form or another. If you are charged with a 2nd or 3rd offense DUI it is likely Alcohol testing is a condition of your bond release from jail. Yes, even before being convicted of a crime the judge will require abstinence of alcohol with verification via testing. I know, I know, what about innocent until proven guilty; we'll have to save that discussion for another time. The fact remains if you are facing a 2nd offense or 3rd offense Drunk Driving and don't want to sit in jail while your case gets handled, you will likely be subject to alcohol testing as a condition of your bond.
There are 3 primary methods currently used in Macomb county and surrounding areas.
The first of which is Urine. Urine alcohol testing has been utilized for many many years. However in recent years the advancement and availability of EtG urine testing has become the preferred choice of many local courts to ensure abstinence. A conventional alcohol urine test can detect the consumption of alcohol 6 - 12 hours after, whereas the EtG test can detect elevated levels of EtG, a bi-product of alcohol consumption for up to 72 hours depending on the amount consumed. Most urine alcohol testing programs utilize a combination of the two tests. The testing procedure involves contacting the testing provider daily via phone, you will have an assigned color, if your color is selected that day, you must go to the testing facility and provide a urine sample. Generally a judge will require 4-8 random tests a month. Failure to provide a urine sample on the day your color is chosen is considered a failed test. Of the three methods, urine testing costs the least. However you need to be able and available to attend the testing facility on any given day.
The second alcohol testing method is SoberLink. SoberLink is a portable breathalyzer device equipped with a camera and cellular connection. The device isn't much larger than a cell phone. The testing procedure requires the individual to blow into the unit for approximately 4 seconds at assigned testing intervals. The device takes a photo verifying the intended person is providing the breath sample, analyzes the BAC, and transmits the data via cellular network to the monitoring center. A standard testing schedule would be, 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm, 11pm. The device allows a 45 minute test window, meaning one could provide the 7am scheduled test between 6:45am and 7:30am and be compliant. The frequency and timing intervals of the test are at the courts discretion. If the Soberlink detects a BAC of .02 or higher it will request a retest 15 minutes later. If the subsequent test reading is .02 or greater a confirmed alcohol consumption event is logged. The Soberlink device provides users with the flexibility and convenience afforded with its portability. The device can be utilized anywhere in the United States, and many parts throughout the world. The SoberLink device costs more than urine testing. Many local courts utilize House Arrest Services Inc. to provide the SoberLink device and monitoring. They have a few locations, including one in Mt. Clemens as well as Eastpointe. In addition to abstinence of alcohol consumption, the individual must be able to adhere to the testing schedule. A missed test is considered a positive test.
The third testing method is the SCRAM ankle alcohol monitor, Made famous by celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. This device is approximately the size of a pager, or pack of cigarettes secured slightly above your ankle. The scram device must be in contact with the wearers skin at all times. The device has a nearly silent pump that activates every 32 minutes and measures alcohol in your perspiration. This testing method is considered the most intensive and accurate by most professionals in the industry. It offers the individual the convenience of portability while not requiring you to adhere to a specified testing schedule eliminating the possibility of missed tests. One of the drawbacks to this method is the need to have the device adhered to your ankle 24 hours a day. The device also requires downloading via the remote base every 48 hours.
With my 30 years of experience as a leading DUI / OWI attorney in Macomb County I am very familiar with alcohol testing methods and the role they play with bond conditions. I utilize my knowledge of these methods in conjunction with my relationships with the courts to ensure my client is utilizing the method best suited for my clients needs.