Can I Dispute a Roadside Breathalyzer’s Test Results?

cropped view of driver taking breathalyzer from policeman while sitting in car

If you’ve been pulled over on the suspicion that you were driving while under the influence (DUI), the police will likely ask you to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). When drivers accept the privilege to drive in Florida, they agree to submit to a breath or chemical test when requested by law enforcement officers due to the state’s implied consent laws. If you blow over the legal limit of 0.08%, you can be charged with DUI. While these test results are often used as evidence, there are many ways in which their reliability can be disputed in court. Please continue reading to learn how a seasoned Pensacola DUI Defense Lawyer can mount a strategic defense by challenging the results of your breathalyzer test.

How Can I Challenge a Breathalyzer’s Test Results?

Driving while under the influence is a serious criminal offense that can result in substantial fines, ignition interlock device installation, license suspension, and even jail time.¬†Depending on the circumstances of your case, there are various ways in which an experienced lawyer can dispute a breathalyzer reading. The following include some of the most common ways to challenge a breathalyzer’s test results in court:

  • Certification: The breath testing machine must be periodically inspected to determine its effectiveness and functionality. If the police department cannot produce this certificate as evidence, meaning the device was not properly certified, the results would be inadmissible.
  • Inadequate training: If the administering police officer was not properly trained or qualified to conduct a field sobriety test, the results may be inadmissible.
  • Calibration: If the breathalyzer is not properly calibrated, it won’t be able to accurately measure a person’s BAC. As a result, the judge may throw out this evidence.
  • Contamination: Environmental factors and other components can contaminate the breath test reading and produce skewed levels.
  • Illegal search: Law enforcement officers must have probable cause for initiating a traffic stop. This means if an officer did not have reasonable suspicion that you were DUI, the results of any breath test administered by the officer may be inadmissible in court. If the officer had no legal right to stop your car, the results would be excluded in court.

Even when roadside breathalyzer test results are conducted perfectly, they are not 100% accurate. As such, if you have been arrested for a DUI, it’s vital to enlist the help of a determined lawyer who can help you fight your charges. At The Law Office of James M. Burns, we are prepared to help you explore available defenses to avoid the consequences of such an offense.