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3 times you could challenge breath test results in court

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2022 | DWI

Unless someone confessed to knowingly getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink, chemical breath test results are often the most compelling evidence that prosecutors have in drunk driving cases.

Many people put far more faith in the results of a breath test than they should, treating them as infallible evidence about someone’s chemical state. They may even second-guess their own recollections of the evening because they feel like they only had two drinks but somehow failed the breath test.

The truth is that breast test results are not always as accurate as people think, and it may be possible for you to keep them out of your criminal court case. When can you potentially challenge occlusion of breath test results in the case the prosecutor presents?

When there is a medical explanation

Do you use asthma inhalers frequently? Are you in the early stages of type 2 diabetes and do not yet have your blood sugar fully under control?

There are numerous medical explanations, ranging from the recent use of mouthwash to keeping certain diets, that could explain why you failed the breath test. Any medical evidence that supports an alternative explanation could help you raise a reasonable doubt about your guilt.

When there are issues with the device

Police departments have to properly maintain breath test devices for those units to produce accurate results in the field. If the police department does not have records of when they last calibrated the unit or when the officer trained to administer breath tests, you may be able to challenge the inclusion of the results based on the lack of record-keeping by the police department.

When the traffic stop wasn’t legal

Did a police officer pull you over because they know you personally and want to cause trouble for you? Did they engage in racial profiling without any other justification for the traffic stop? If the reason the officer pulled you over is not valid, then the evidence that they gathered during their interaction with you may not hold up in criminal court.

Challenging the evidence state has against you is one of the possible defense strategies that could help you avoid a conviction for a pending drunk driving charge.