The police pull you over. They suspect you’ve been drinking and place you under arrest. At the station, you submit to a breathalyzer test. The results show that you’re over the legal limit for driving. Is this an open and shut case?
Prosecutors have long-held breathalyzer results as objective proof of guilt. However, recent studies have called into question the reliability of these tests. In addition to questioning the accuracy of breathalyzer results, you can also challenge breath tests on other grounds.
Police officers have to go through training before they’re allowed to administer a breathalyzer test. They must also recertify their license to operate a breathalyzer machine, which involves answering a series of questions. If an officer is not trained in the use of a breathalyzer machine or if their license isn’t current, it’s likely the results of the test will be inadmissible.
Breathalyzer machines are sensitive pieces of equipment. If they are not properly maintained or calibrated, results can be wildly inaccurate. Your attorney should review maintenance records when building your drunk driving defense case.
Because breathalyzer machines are sensitive, other substances can affect the readings. A burp may cause more alcohol to be present in the mouth. Cough syrup and other medications containing alcohol can lead to false positives. Even gum or breath mints are enough to skew the results.
Remember, you’re innocent until proven guilty
A failed breath test is not the end of the world. You have rights. A skilled legal professional can help you assert those rights and defend you from criminal charges.