If you fail a Breathalyzer test, can you challenge it?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2018 | Firm News |

If you recently submitted to a Breathalyzer test and failed it, then you almost certainly received a DUI charge. This is a very serious legal issue that may affect your driving privileges and many other areas of your life that depend on your ability to drive legally. You also will likely face significant fines if convicted, so it is vital that you fight the charges with all the resources that you have.

Many people assume that a DUI charge is not a big deal because so many people get them, but it truly is a big deal. No matter what the circumstances of your DUI, it is important to prepare a stalwart legal defense to ensure that you do not suffer needlessly for a foolish mistake. Your prosecutor is already assembling the case against you, so it is wise to put together your defense as quickly and effectively as you can.

When Breathalyzer results are part the evidence against you, it may feel like a losing battle to defend yourself. However, these results are not always as reliable as television and movies may encourage you to think. In fact, a Breathalyzer may produce inaccurate results in a number of ways.

Inaccuracies in the results

Just like a fuel gauge or bathroom scale or any other dynamic measuring device, a Breathalyzer must receive ongoing calibration to provide accurate readings. While an uncalibrated device may not produce wildly inaccurate results, when fractions of a percentage point mean the difference between being charged and being free to go, calibration matters a great deal.

Similarly, if a device does not receive regular maintenance, it may malfunction. These malfunctions may result in criminal charges that can lead to convictions.

If you have any reason to suspect that you received bad results because of the condition or calibration of the device used for testing your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), be sure to consider how you may use this in your defense.

Improper usage of the device

A well-calibrated device is still no match for operator error. In some cases, the officer who administered your test may not have used the device correctly when doing so. Any instance of operator error is useful when building your defense because it casts doubt on the reliability of the evidence. Carefully consider any actions or negligence on the part of your arresting officer, including actions that violated your rights even if the rest of the interaction was by the book.

If an officer violates your rights in the course of your interaction, this can become part of your defense strategy. The officer must uphold all laws, and may not break the law while he or she upholds a different part of it.

Your defense is not a one-size-fits-all issue. Be proactive when building a personalized defense that genuinely protects your rights and privileges.