Can breath test machines produce incorrect results?
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Can breath test machines produce incorrect results?

| Apr 19, 2021 | Drunk Driving

Any motorist that police pull over on suspicion of drunk driving will likely undergo a breath test to determine their blood alcohol concentration. These devices measure the amount of alcohol in the breath and produce a result that lets officers know whether you surpass the .08% legal limit threshold for drunk driving. 

While the breath test is a very convenient way for police to determine a motorist’s degree of intoxication, the results aren’t always entirely accurate. Police must properly calibrate the breath test device for it to produce correct results. Many defendants employ a defense strategy that calls the calibration of the equipment into question if they have reason to believe it’s poorly calibrated.

How would you use calibration issues in a defense?

Police must keep maintenance and calibration records for breath test devices. Your attorney may subpoena those records for their review as part of your defense and call any discrepancies into question. The onus then falls on prosecutors’ shoulders to prove that the evidence they’re presenting in court is valid and that it meets the standards as set by law. 

It’s sometimes possible for the prosecution to prove a motorist’s impairment through other means other than via a breath test. Prosecutors may be able to point to other indicators, such as a failed standardized field sobriety test or smelling alcohol on a driver’s breath instead. 

Defending yourself against drunk driving charges

Anyone facing drunk driving charges must take time to explore the defense strategy options available to them. The insight that a defense attorney who has experience working on similar cases can provide is invaluable. Time is often of the essence as it relates to preserving evidence in a case. Don’t let too much time lapse in your case before you start crafting a defense strategy in it.  

 

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