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You can challenge breath test results

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | Criminal Defense

The legal limit for a driver is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. People can be arrested even if they’re under that BAC, if they have shown other evidence of impairment. But if they reach or exceed the limit, the court can then presume that they were impaired while driving. This makes it one of the most common types of evidence used in these cases.

Many people assume that there’s no way to challenge a breath test. It gives scientific results and proves that they were under the influence. But this is not true, and below are three potential challenges.

Lack of calibration

Like any other scientific device, a breath test needs to be calibrated. In some cases, routine maintenance needs to be carried out. Some police departments neglect their breath tests, so the results from a test that hasn’t been calibrated may not be accurate.

Lack of training

In other cases, police officers just don’t know how to operate these tests and make mistakes while doing so. This could lead to an artificially high reading, meaning that someone gets arrested even though they aren’t over the legal limit. The untrained police officer just made a mistake that is now affecting the other person‘s future.

Outside factors

Finally, some outside factors may lead to a high reading, like burping during a breath test. Someone who has recently been drinking or who used mouthwash may have alcohol content in their mouth, as well, which can give a much higher reading than just the content in their blood.

These are just a few examples of how someone can challenge a breath test, but they help to show why it’s so important to look into all legal defense options after an arrest.