The results of a breath alcohol test are going to be a major part of your case if you’ve been accused of drunk driving. The police generally use both field sobriety tests and/or a breath test to determine if a driver is actually impaired or not.
If you were just taking the field sobriety tests, it may seem easy to protest that they weren’t fair or weren’t accurate. Maybe the officer said you were impaired because you stumbled while walking, but you’ve always had poor balance and it was nothing new for you. The officer just didn’t know you and assumed it meant you were drunk.
But if you fail the breath test, with a blood alcohol concentration that is over the legal limit, then you may assume that you’re simply going to be convicted. Don’t make this assumption. There are a few potential challenges.
Options to consider
Every situation is unique, but there are a few different options you can consider if you’re trying to get out of the charges. For example, you may claim that:
- The officer made a mistake while administering the test.
- The test was not calibrated or the machine malfunctioned..
- The breath test happened after an illegal traffic stop.
- The breath test device was not an officially approved make and model.
There are also some cases where outside factors can influence a test. For instance, someone who stopped drinking 20 minutes ago may blow a far lower level than someone who just consumed a drink, but it’s only because the second person still has alcohol in their mouth at the time. Even trace amounts can throw off the test.
As you can see, these cases aren’t always as cut and dry as you may assume, so consider your defense options carefully.