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15 Minute Michigan OWI Observation Period

Question: What is the 15-minute observation period in a Michigan OWI case?

Answer: Well, the reason they call it a 15-minute observation period is, whenever you're doing breath testing, the mouth can have contaminants in there which can throw off any kind of breath testing. So it can be other parts of the esophagus, potentially I guess you could have it in the lungs, or in the bronchioles, there could be some kind of contamination there as well, but most often it's something that's in the mouth. So if an officer inspects the mouth of the person he wants to test, makes sure there's nothing in there right then, and observes them for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, somewhere in that range, they can be somewhat assured that there won't be contamination of the breath sample and they should be reasonably sure that the test is at least somewhat accurate.

If there's any kind of regurgitation, burping, anything that's foreign in the mouth, like chewing tobacco is a common one I've seen, if there's anything like that, then they need to remove whatever's in there, make sure the mouth is clean, and then wait another 15 minutes from that point in time. This is where we see a lot of problems in a lot of tests. And this 15-minute observation period is both for the preliminary breath test done at the side of the road as well as the DataMaster test that's done back at the police station. It's supposed to be done in both instances. But we see a lot of times where it's not actually followed, or the officer is not actually observing anything and we watch the video and the client is touching the mouth, and who knows what's on the client's hands, and things like that.

Call Today! FREE Consultation Lawyer and Receive Immediate Attention for Your Criminal Law Case Patrick T. Barone is a Michigan Super Lawyer, who has maintained continuous top attorney ratings since 2007. In addition, the Michigan native is the author of multiple books on OWI, DUI and criminal law. The OUIL attorney near me has lectured at over 80 legal seminars all over America. He leads Barone Defense Firm in providing aggressive legal warriors for each client's criminal case.

Contact us 24 hours a day at our law firm’s easy to remember toll-free number, 1-877-ALL-MICH or 877-255-6424, for a free criminal case review. The Michigan attorneys near me at Barone Defense Firm travel the entire Great Lakes State, to help citizens in legal trouble in Michigan for alleged criminal law violations.

For your FREE lawyer consultation, call today to learn how to protect yourself from a possible unwarranted conviction. What do you have to lose, when the free legal advice with our litigation team’s criminal lawyers near me can answer many tough questions?

Client Reviews
Patrick Barone is the ONLY choice for DUI defense. He was realistic from the start and made it a point to look at my case before taking my money. As a business owner, when I think of attorneys, I think of the "shark infested waters. Patrick is a shark alright, but his prey is not the client; it's justice for his client. Ten stars Patrick!! Chris F.
Attorney Patrick Barone was very helpful and helped me understand the charge and sentence absolutely clearly. He also guided me through step by step helping me form a statement. His instructions were clear and detailed. It was obvious he cared about me understanding every important detail within my case. I would absolutely recommend this defense firm to anyone in need. Aaron B.
The Barone Defense Firm is the firm I recommend. They are truly concerned about the person, not just the legal issue, but the person as well. They are the most knowledgeable defense firm that I am aware of, having actually written the book on DWI Defense. If you are faced with a DWI you will not find a more professional and skilled law firm. But, most importantly, they care about how the accused individual recovers his or her life when the case is complete. Very remarkable group of lawyers. William H.