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3 reasons a breath test could be wrong

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Criminal Law

Don’t assume that failing a breath test means you are definitely going to be convicted on drunk driving charges. Some people do make this assumption, and it can cause a lot of problems. The breath test absolutely does not guarantee a conviction, as the test itself can simply be wrong.

That doesn’t mean you won’t be arrested. You probably will. A failed breath test does give the police the ability to make an arrest because they can assume that you are impaired and should not have been driving your vehicle. But there are a few ways that you can challenge this evidence in court and avoid the conviction.

1. The device wasn’t calibrated 

First and foremost, breath test devices need periodic calibration to ensure that they’re still accurate. If that wasn’t carried out on the test used in your case, does the officer actually know that the results are dependable? It can help to look for the maintenance and calibration records for each device.

2. The officer made a mistake

Additionally, even if the device is in perfect working order, that doesn’t mean the officer did everything correctly. Did they have the right training? Did they follow the proper procedures? Did they even use an approved device? Errors by the police officer could invalidate the results, regardless of your blood alcohol concentration.

3. There are outside reasons for the test to be unreliable

Finally, there are many different outside factors that may affect the results. If you used mouthwash before taking the test, for example, then the results of that test may be artificially high. The same can be true if you burped during the breath test or still had alcohol in your mouth. 

Your defense options

The above shows a few reasons why you may want to challenge a drunk driving arrest. If you’re in this position, take the time to carefully consider all of your legal defense options.