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Are breath tests accurate?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2021 | Drunk Driving

If a police officer suspects that you’re driving drunk, then you’ll probably be asked to submit to a blood or breath test. Many drivers choose the latter, which can end up with them testing with a blood alcohol concentration higher than the legal limit. When that happens, it’s easy to think that your criminal case is over before it has even really begun. But breath tests aren’t failproof. By understanding their weaknesses, you might be able to exploit them to your advantage in your drunk driving criminal defense.

Ways to challenge breath test results

There are several ways that you can challenge the results of a breath test. Here are some of them:

  • Unreliability: There’s some scientific evidence out there that suggest that breath tests are unreliable. If you can successfully argue this point, buttressed by a lack of supporting evidence showing intoxication, then you might be able to have breath test results suppressed.
  • Poor maintenance and calibration: Breath test devices must be properly maintained and calibrated in order to work effectively. Therefore, if law enforcement officers have mishandled the device, the ultimate reading can be significantly off, indicating that you’re over the legal limit when you actually aren’t.
  • The waiting period: Before initiating a breath test, law enforcement officers should engage in a waiting period to ensure that nothing would alter the test results, such as burping, vomiting, or even smoking. If this period wasn’t observed, then the result’s accuracy may be drawn into question.
  • Medical condition: Some people have a medical condition that can affect the results of a breath test. If that’s the case for you, then consider getting medical evidence to support your position.

Build the strong criminal defense that you need

There’s a lot at stake in a drunk driving case. As such, you need to build the best criminal defense you can with the facts at hand. If you’d like assistance doing that, then consider reaching out to a criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience handling these types of cases.