Breathalyzer machines are far from perfect, which is why they don’t carry much legal weight in the courtroom. However, police rely heavily on these devices because they paint a seemingly clear picture of whether or not the driver in question has had too much to drink. These machines are supposed to undergo regular baseline and 0.08 testing, but malfunctioning units are being used each and every day.
It’s not easy to prove that your breathalyzer malfunctioned or is inaccurate, but there are some things you can do challenge the validity of the results and the DUI charge itself. We explain what you should do if you think your breathalyzer test was wrong in this blog.
I Think My Breath Test Was Broken
If you submit to a roadside breathalyzer test and it comes back with a reading that you know or highly suspect is incorrect, here are three steps you should take.
1. Have It Documented – If you’re planning on challenging the arrest because you think or know the breath test is incorrect, ask the officer to put in the official report that you believe the unit has malfunctioned. Also ask them to put the device number in the report, and if they have access to it, see if they can find the last date the machine was serviced and have that documented as well. This helps to suggest that you aren’t just grasping for straws when planning a legal defense, and that you suspected something was off from the start.
2. Contact A Lawyer – This is the most important tip. When you are allowed to make a phone call or after you are released, contact a criminal defense attorney and explain your situation. Avery Appelman has helped countless individuals who have been charged with DUI, and sometimes challenging the validity and the accuracy of the breathalyzer is the best route to pursue. He can walk you through all your options and explain how he’ll attack the charges. He’ll also want to hear your story, including if and how much you had to drink that night.
3. Be Truthful To The Lawyer – There are other ways to challenge your DUI than by arguing the accuracy of the breathalyzer, so don’t tell your lawyer you only had one beer if it was in fact three or four. Also, let them know if you were taking any prescription medications, or any other potential reasons why you may have appeared or registered as intoxicated. Low blood sugar won’t equate to a faulty breath test, but it could help explain why you were driving erratically, and if you had any alcohol in your system, the police may opt to arrest you even if you are under the legal limit. Being truthful and coming up with any potential reasons why your breath test or ability to drive was compromised will help you avoid any surprises in court.
For more information, or if you need help after a DUI arrest, reach out to Avery Appelman today.