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Breathalyzer tests often have weaknesses you can challenge

| Apr 4, 2020 | Firm News

Receiving a drunk driving charge after failing a Breathalyzer test is a serious matter, and anyone with drunk driving charges should build a strong legal defense to keep their rights secure. Often, drunk driving charges lead to ongoing expenses and can make it difficult or impossible to find and keep a job, or qualify for insurance.

Unfortunately, many people do not realize that Breathalyzers and similar devices all have weaknesses that may impact results. Failing a Breathalyzer test is not an automatic conviction, and it is well worth your while as a defendant to build a strong defense to protect yourself. With careful review of the evidence against you and the circumstances of your arrest, you may find opportunities to challenge the evidence and reduce or dismiss your charges. If you have not begun building your defense, today is the day to start the process.

Technical weaknesses in Breathalyzers

A Breathalyzer is certainly an impressive device, capable of calculating a suspect’s blood alcohol content within fractions of a percentage point. However, these precise calculations depend on regular maintenance and calibration.

If an officer uses an uncalibrated Breathalyzer to assess a suspect’s sobriety, it may easily return inaccurate results. Similarly, if a Breathalyzer does not receive ongoing maintenance, it may suffer a malfunction that ruins its results.

If you have any reason to suspect that your arresting officer used an uncalibrated Breathalyzer device, it is important to document this and consider it as a part of your legal strategy.

Other concerns during a traffic stop

An officer who tests a suspect with a Breathalyzer has several responsibilities throughout the interaction. As you review the circumstances of your arrest, consider the conduct of the officer. Duties of the officer include:

  • Properly using the device according to training
  • Using only approved devices
  • Administering the test in proper conditions
  • Conducting the interaction and arrest without violating a suspect’s rights

Completely apart from the question of a suspect’s sobriety, police officers must follow many regulations around testing, and must not violate the rights of a suspect. If you believe that your arresting officer violated regulations or violated your civil liberties during your interaction, you should also consider this in your legal strategy.

In order to build a strong defense, you must gather as much information about the arrest as you can, including seeking the evidence that the prosecution has against you. If you wait to begin building your defense, you may not have time to properly request to see the evidence against you, so it is very important to begin the process today if you have not already. With a strong legal strategy, you can keep your rights secure as you fight against your charges.