For most people facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI), the assumption is that a breathalyzer test is definitive and inadmissible in court. If your test shows you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than the legal limit, you may assume there’s nothing you can do to fight this.
However, an experienced attorney can make several challenges to breathalyzer tests. A successful challenge to a breathalyzer test could result in your case being dismissed or the charges reduced, which could eliminate jail time, fines and a license suspension.
How to challenge a breathalyzer test
If breathalyzer results are part of the prosecutor’s case against you during a DUI trial, there are numerous questions to ask that could reveal potential weaknesses in their case, including:
- Was the person administering the test properly licensed? Virginia law requires the person administering a breathalyzer test to have a valid license to do so.
- Was the breathalyzer properly maintained? If the breathalyzer used for testing was in disrepair or calibrated improperly, it could change the results of the test itself. If the test proves inaccurate, it could result in the dismissal of the results as evidence.
- Was the entire procedure constitutionally acceptable? If the police officer did not have probable cause to stop you or reasonable suspicion to give you a breathalyzer test, all evidence obtained could be dismissed.
- Were other factors involved that could influence the test? Certain types of gum or breath mints could lead to a false reading.
These are just a few of the possible challenges you could raise against the results of a breathalyzer test. When you or your attorney prepares to defend your DUI charge, considering these defenses could lead to a positive result.
The consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe, so it’s critical that you use every possible defense available to you. Your future and freedom could be at stake.