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Man “Blows” 301 Breathalyzers in One Sitting

A New Zealand man stands accused of urinating on 300 breathalyzer tubes. breathalyzer

Officers arrested Ryan Scott Thompson, of New Zealand, for driving under the influence after he smashed his car into the living room an elderly lady. Thompson, 26, is a forklift operator from Christchurch.

An unasked for Urine Sample

What was supposed to be a normal DUI arrest turned into anything but normal.

According to the Huffington Post, after arriving at the police station, Thompson took an alcohol breath test, or breathalyzer, revealing Thompson’s blood alcohol content to be more than three times New Zealand’s legal limit. After finishing the test, the officer administering the test left Thompson to complete paperwork.

The officer then thought he heard what sounded like running water. Instead of finding a leaky faucet, the offer turned around and, reportedly, saw Thompson, still seated, urinating on a box of breath screening tubes. The officer told Thompson to stop, but he did not comply with the request. Instead, Thompson kept urinating.

In total, Thompson urinated on 301 breathalyzer tubes. In addition to DUI, Thompson faced charges of willful damage. A judge ordered Thompson to pay $88 to replace the equipment. Thompson also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and careless driving. He received a nine-month license suspension resulting from the charges.

To Blow or Not to Blow, That is the Question?

The lesson from this story: if you are in jail ask an officer to use the restroom before urinating on breathalyzer tests — it could be costly. Also, think twice before blowing in a breathalyzer.

The accuracy of a DataMaster breathalyzer depends on the unit, the timing of the testing and the testing process for the suspected motorist. Plus, there are procedural steps such as videotaping a breathalyzer test, which if omitted, can weaken the prosecuter’s ability to use it as evidence.

Also, a motorist’s own biology or medical condition may give false readings on a breath test such as:

  • the depth of breaths
  • excess saliva
  • physical size
  • medical conditions
In South Carolina, you do have the right to refuse a breathalyzer or any other alcohol testing. If you refuse a breathalyzer your license will automatically be suspended for six months. The arresting officer must provide you with a notice of suspension marking the effective date as the date of the alleged violation. You have the right to request an administrative hearing within 30 days of the issuance of the notice of suspension. You may then apply for an Temporary Alcohol License which allows you to drive while awaiting the outcome of your Administrative Hearing.
I Want My License Back
At an Administrative Hearing, you may subpoena the arresting officer.

At this hearing you may challenge whether:

  • proper notice about alternative test options was given,
  • the “Informing the Accused” was read,
  • there was probable cause to make the arrest based on your conduct

The hearing is held at the Office of Motor Vehicles and a Department of Motor Vehicles employee presides over it as the “hearing examiner”. If the officer fails to show the Administrative Suspension is vacated pending the outcome of your case. If the “hearing examiner”  decides in your favor you will also receive your license. The “hearing examiner” may also decide to uphold the Administrative Suspension leaving you unable to drive until the outcome of your case.

South Carolina DUI Lawyers

The South Carolina DUI Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm hope you have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. If drinking is on your agenda for the weekend, remember to call a cab or have a designated driver. If you do find yourself in trouble and facing DUI charges, the Strom Law Firm can help you.  We will defend you in every phase of your DUI case. Contact us today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800.

About Pete Strom

Defending criminal charges including drug crimes, DUI, CDV, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, computer crimes, money laundering, and juvenile crimes, Pete also handles Federal and State investigations. Representing individuals in Civil Matters including Class Actions, Personal Injury, Qui Tam Actions, Defective Products, Nursing Home Neglect, and Professional Licensing Defense cases. Joseph Preston “Pete” Strom, Jr., the managing partner at Strom Law Firm, L.L.C., has been fighting for justice since 1984.

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