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6 Breathalyzer Test Defenses

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Breathalyzer test is the most common way for the police to discern your blood alcohol level at a traffic stop, though it isn't always accurate. Never assume that just because you blew over the legal limit that their case against you is cut and dry. It is still very possible to come out of a DUI charge where a breath test will be used against you and still win.

So while a breath test will automatically be used in a court as evidence, there are several ways to defend against these charges. Here are 6 different grounds for a defense:

  1. Police failure to administer the test properly. For a breath test to be used against you, a police officer must have evidence for use. This means they have to observe you for a time before administering. Thus, a lack of proper observation time is a nominal defense.

  2. Consent. If you refuse a breath test, the police have to advise you on the penalties of doing so. The police must prove that you voluntarily refused the test.

  3. The right to your own medical exam. The police must advise you that you have the right to an independent blood alcohol level test. If they fail to do so, their Breathalyzer results may not be able to be used in court.

  4. The Breathalyzer machine is in good working order. The prosecution must produce evidence that the machine has been tested within a reasonable amount of time, and is in good working order. A lack of proper documentation can mean the test won't be used as evidence.

  5. A disconnect between observation time and test time. In some instances, a person may not appear as if their BAC is above the standard limit (especially if they pass a field sobriety test), but a breath test may say otherwise. In this instance, it's possible to argue the machine is not properly working.

  6. BAC information kept private. After a breath test, a person being tested must be informed of the results. It is your right to that information.

If you have been pulled over, and had to take a breath test, it's important that you know your rights and contact an attorney right away. Remember, a Breathalyzer test isn't a linchpin for your guilt. There are options.

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