Can I Challenge the Results of a Breathalyzer Test?

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police officer administering breathalyzer test on woman

Intoxicated driving is a common and unfortunate reality of today. Approximately 32% of all car crash deaths in the United States involve drunk drivers. Police do important work by identifying the signs of intoxicated driving and making arrests before accidents and injuries can occur. One of the ways an officer can determine if a driver is intoxicated during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident is through the use of a breathalyzer. Breathalyzers are diagnostic devices that a suspected drunk driver is asked to blow into. An estimated BAC (blood alcohol content) will be shown on the screen and if it is over the legal limit of .08, an arrest can be made. If you were arrested for intoxicated driving you may be able to challenge the results of a breathalyzer test with the help of a Mercer County DUI lawyer. Continue reading and speak with a skilled attorney today.

How Can I Dispute a Breathalyzer Test?

Breathalyzers are useful tools in keeping roads safe from intoxicated drivers, but there are flaws with the devices as well. If the prosecution’s case hinges on evidence obtained from a breathalyzer there is a chance that you could dispute the validity of the test results and poke holes in their argument. The following are ways to disprove the reliability of breathalyzer tests.

  1. The device was not calibrated. Because the breathalyzer is an electronic device it needs to be calibrated to ensure its measurements are accurate. You may be able to access calibration records and find that the device has not been calibrated in some time.
  2. The officer did not have the proper training. You may be able to question the arresting officer’s training. To administer a breathalyzer the officer must be certified. If research shows that the officer was inexperienced or unlicensed the test results may be questionable.
  3. Illegal stop and search. In order to legally pull someone over a police officer must have a reasonable suspicion of a crime or issue. If there was no valid reason to stop you in the first place then the evidence obtained (the breathalyzer reading) may be considered inadmissible.
  4. The breath sample was tainted. If the lab did not properly handle or store your breath sample then it is possible that the evidence is not reliable enough to be considered during the trial.

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

It is possible to challenge the validity of a breathalyzer test result, but you will find more success if you acquire the services of a skilled attorney. An experienced DUI lawyer will know the above defense options and be able to assist you before and during the trial.

Your attorney will know who to contact and how to request certain information to determine the breathalyzer’s reliability. They can analyze the relevant information and evidence of your case and formulate an effective defensive strategy to get your charges reduced or dropped.

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