Many people accused of drunk driving offenses assume that their conviction in criminal court is inevitable. Especially if they had one or two drinks before driving, they likely believe that no one will take their words seriously when they claim the breath test results were inaccurate.
Despite how much faith people place in chemical testing, there is actually a sizable possibility for error. Simply failing the test does not ensure that the prosecutor has an airtight case against you. You could challenge the breath test results as a means of mounting a defense against your pending driving under the influence (DUI) charges.
What are some of the reasons you could challenge breath test results and keep them from serving as the primary evidence against you in criminal court?
When a traffic stop was illegal
Police officers are subject to strict regulations regarding how they interact with the public. When a police officer deviates from those best practices, the courts may not be able to use the evidence that they gathered in the prosecution of a defendant. If you have reason to question the legality of the initial traffic stop, any evidence gathered during the stop may not hold up in court.
When there are maintenance issues with the device
Chemical breath testing is a complex process, and the device used requires careful maintenance to return accurate results. Police departments need to calibrate their breath test devices frequently and update the software occasionally. They also have to ensure that officers remain up to date on their training regarding how they use the devices to administer tests. Gaps in the maintenance records of the device could help you raise questions about the accuracy of the breath test.
When there is another explanation
Did you recently use an inhaler or swish with mouthwash before the traffic stop? Do you have certain medical conditions that would have affected your performance on the breath test? There could be a reasonable chemical or medical explanation for why a driver failed a breath test even though they were not under the influence of alcohol.
Realizing that you could challenge your chemical test results could help you defend against upcoming DUI charges.