How To Prove A Breathalyzer Was Administered Improperly

A Driving Under the Influence charge, or a DUI, is a serious criminal offense.  If convicted of a DUI, you may face penalties such as probation, fines, community service, and jail time.  It can negatively impact you, your life, and your family.  If you have been charged with a DUI, you will want to fight the changes. The main evidence against you might be a BAC level that was over the limit.  If so, you should be prepared to argue that the breathalyzer test was administered improperly. 

Drunk Driving Laws

Throughout the United States, driving drunk is against the law.  Whether a driver is legally drunk depends on a person’s blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, level.  Almost every state’s legal BAC limit is .08, with the exception of the state of Utah, whose BAC level is .05.  A BAC level is determined by a screening test such as a breathalyzer, a blood test, or a urine test.  If you have been charged under suspicion of drunk driving, your case could largely depend on the BAC level that resulted from your screening test.  

What Happens If a Police Officer Suspects Drunk Driving

If a police officer suspects that a driver is under the influence, they will pull them over.  Once they pull someone over, they will first talk to the driver and ask them basic questions.  They will attempt to see if the driver is coherent or slurring their speech.  They will look at the driver’s eyes to check for any redness, and they will try to detect if alcohol is on their breath.  They will then ask the driver to step out of the car, so they can administer field sobriety tests, such as the “one-leg stand” test.  If the driver fails the field sobriety tests, the police officer will then use a breathalyzer test to determine if the driver was drinking.

The Breathalyzer Test 

The breathalyzer test is a drunk driving screening test that measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath.  It works by the suspected person exhaling into a mouthpiece that is connected to a device that measures the amount of alcohol in the breath.  Usually, an officer will administer the test several times to take an average measure of the BAC.  If the BAC level registers over .08, then the suspect is considered legally drunk and gets charged with a DUI violation.  

How to Prove that The Breathalyzer Was Not Administered Correctly

If you have been charged with a DUI, you are probably scared and want to clear your name.  If you were administered a breathalyzer test, you might try to argue that the breathalyzer was inaccurate and administered improperly.  The DUI attorneys at Weber Law, a criminal law firm based in Denver, advise that the breathalyzer test results can be inaccurate.  In fact, recent investigative reports have shown that the tests may not be that reliable.  As such, you should definitely fight a  DUI charge if you believe the breathalyzer results were wrong. Each case is different, and it is always recommended to first consult with a DUI attorney.   

There are several ways in which you could prove that a breathalyzer test was administered improperly.  A breathalyzer result could be inaccurate if:

  • The breathalyzer test was improperly administered because the officer lacked training or experience in using the device 
  • The test device was not properly calibrated or not properly maintained
  • The test malfunctioned or had a software glitch
  • The test was administered shortly after you used mouthwash, and thus, the reading was inaccurate
  • The test was subject to radio or electronic interference 
  • The test was inaccurate because due to age or medical conditions, you were not able to produce a good breath for the sample

 If you believe that you are innocent of the charge, then you should prepare to use any of these arguments to disprove the breathalyzer results.  Additionally, you should also fight the accuracy of the test results if there was no other screen test administered, such as a blood or urine test. 

Consult with A Drunk Driving Attorney

A DUI charge can cause a lot of worry and anxiety, and a DUI conviction can result in serious penalties, including jail time.  If you have been charged with a DUI, you may want to argue that the breathalyzer test result was wrong.  There are many ways to fight a DUI charge successfully.  Contact a criminal law attorney near you to discuss the specifics of your case so you can maintain your innocence.


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