Purpose of the 15-Minute Observation Period
If you are arrested for DUI in Oklahoma, you will be asked to submit to a chemical test of your blood alcohol content, or BAC. The most commonly performed test is the state breath test, which will be offered at the police station.
Before administering the breath test, the arresting officer is required to wait and observe you for 15 minutes. This is not an arbitrary pause; it is an essential part of properly conducting the test.
The Deprivation Period
During these 15 minutes, you are being subjected to what can be called a “deprivation period.” You are not allowed to chew gum, drink water or ingest any other food or beverages. The officer must also ensure that you do not burp or vomit, as doing so could re-introduce mouth alcohol that would compromise the integrity of your test results.
Challenging Your Test Results
If you were given the state breath test after a DUI arrest and the officer did not observe you for 15 minutes beforehand, it could be grounds to challenge the results of your test. If you believe that you were not subjected to a proper 15-minute depravation period it is important to bring this to the attention of your attorney.