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Can you challenge your breath analyzer test results?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | DUI/DWI

When the police pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, they may administer breath analyzer tests to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. These breath tests are mostly used to confirm the results of field sobriety tests and differentiate between alcohol and drug impairment. 

While breath analyzer test results can be used against you in court when facing drunk driving charges, they are not infallible. You can successfully challenge their accuracy and reliability on various grounds, as outlined below.

Calibration and maintenance issues

The device used during your test may not have been properly calibrated or maintained, which could affect its accuracy. You can request maintenance records to ascertain the device was working as it should during your test.

Improper administration of the breath analyzer test

The law enforcement officer administering the test must be qualified and properly trained to operate the device correctly. If they made any mistakes, such as failing to follow the laid out legal procedures when carrying out the test, the results could be invalid.

The timing of the breath analyzer test in relation to when you were driving also matters. If it takes too long after you were stopped, your BAC levels might have risen, leading to a higher reading than when you were driving.

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions like acid reflux or diabetes can elevate acetone levels in your breath and affect breath analyzer results. Similarly, alcohol-based cough syrups, mouthwashes and breath sprays could lead to false positives.

It’s worth noting that successfully challenging breath analyzer test results can help your drunk driving case, but this is just one aspect of your defense. Other evidence and circumstances will also play a crucial role in the direction your charges will take. Seeking legal guidance can help you understand your options, represent your interests and increase the chances of a favorable outcome.