“I was driving behind my girlfriend when she got into a terrible accident on 880. I parked my car and helped her out, just before someone else hit her car with his. My heart was beating rapidly, and I was excitable when I spoke to the officers. They suspected me of drinking and driving and asked me to take their breath tests. I was surprised when they told me that my BAC was over the legal limit. I had not had a drink for eight hours.”
I retained the Law Office of Asit Panwala, and he quickly discerned that my diabetic condition had affected the accuracy of the breath tests. The District Attorney refrained from charging me, but the DMV sought to suspend my license.
Asit called an expert, Jan Seminoff, at the DMV hearing, who explained how uncontrolled diabetes will lead one’s body to produce isopropanol. Seminoff also explained that the PAS devices cannot differentiate between ethyl alcohol and isopropanol, and that one could not be certain that that the results were accurate in this case. The DMV hearing officer was convinced, but he wrongly believed the law did not differentiate between different types of alcohol. Thus, the hearing officer suspended my license.
Asit is persistent. He told me that we should file a writ of mandamus in Superior Court challenging the DMV. The deputy attorney general fought him vigorously, but Asit prevailed and the Superior Court ordered the DMV to reverse the suspension. I am grateful for Asit’s help. D.C.