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Can you challenge a positive Breathalyzer reading?

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2022 | Criminal Defense

When a traffic cop asks someone to blow into a Breathalyzer, they know a positive result will make their job much easier. If you blow above the limit, which is usually 0.08 BAC, they get automatic justification to arrest you and charge you with a DUI.

If you blow negative, they can still charge you, but they know you have a greater chance of knocking down their reasons in court. A Breathalyzer provides factual evidence, whereas saying they saw you driving like you were drunk is subjective.

You may still escape charges even if the Breathalyzer shows you are over the limit

While the police might act as though the Breathalyzer evidence is indisputable, it is not. Many people have successfully overturned what looked like a certain conviction. Here are some of the arguments they used:

  • The Breathalyzer was inaccurate: There are a variety of factors that may lead to an inaccurate Breathalyzer reading. Perhaps police failed to calibrate and maintain the device according to the manufacturer’s schedule. Some medications and health conditions may create inaccuracies in the device as well. Even mouthwash could affect the results of a breath test. By examining the circumstances surrounding your Breathalyzer test, you may find evidence that the results are invalid.
  • The checkpoint was illegal: If you were caught at a DUI checkpoint, you need to check if it was legal. Even slight technical errors in setting up a checkpoint or choosing which cars to stop could invalidate the case against you.
  • The traffic stop was illegal: If the police stopped you outside of a checkpoint, you could question whether they had a valid reason to ask you to pull over. They need to believe you have committed a crime and explain what made them come to that assumption.

With legal help, you may find you have a much better chance than you think to contest a DUI.