Breath tests are meant to be an accurate way of determining a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). However, there are many factors that can affect the accuracy of breath tests. That means that if you’re arrested for DUI, you may be able to challenge the test results.
Poor test administration
There are certain steps that must be followed to ensure that a breath test result is valid. One of the most common ones is the 15-minute observation period before the test is administered. If an officer fails to observe the suspect for 15 minutes prior to testing, then the results of the breath test may not be valid. Another common problem is failing to use a calibrated breath test machine.
If medication or medical conditions can interfere with the accuracy of breath test results, then it may be possible to challenge the DUI charge. A person who is taking certain medications, for instance, may have an elevated BAC reading even though they have not been drinking. Similarly, certain medical conditions can cause a person’s breath to test higher than their actual BAC.
Breathalyzers require regular maintenance in order to achieve accurate readings. If a machine has not been maintained properly, it can produce inaccurate readings.
Poor interpretation of results
In some cases, DUI officers may misinterpret or exaggerate the results of a breath test. If this happens, you can challenge the DUI charge by showing that the officer failed to accurately interpret or report on the results of the breath test.
Illegal search and seizure
If the police conducted an illegal search or seizure of a person’s property, then any evidence collected from the search may be inadmissible in court. That includes breath test results if they were part of the evidence gathered during a questionable search.
Challenging breath test results is not an easy task. It requires detailed knowledge of DUI laws and the ability to prove that any of these four conditions were present at the time of the DUI arrest. However, by taking your time to build a strong DUI defense, you can increase your chances of getting the DUI charge dismissed.