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Can I challenge the results of a breathalyzer?

Many of us pay specific attention to the number of drinks that we have in a given night, and may even space out drinks with glasses of water to maintain sobriety more easily. However, even for those who take special care to remain in control while drinking may find that they are technically over the limit if an officer stops them and administers a sobriety test.

Some people worry that breathalyzer results are definitive, and that any time a person receives charges based on breathalyzer results, these charges are ironclad. However, that is not always the case. In some instances, a person may identify grounds to challenge breathalyzer results and may even succeed in overturning the charges altogether.

If you face DUI charges involving a breathalyzer or some other type of field sobriety test, you should consider reaching out to an experienced defense attorney. A professional defense attorney helps you examine the details of your arrest for weaknesses and builds a strong defense against unfair prosecution.

Challenging field sobriety results

Test results are only as dependable as the equipment and personnel who deliver them. If you can identify any grounds to suggest that the equipment used to test your sobriety was not properly calibrated, you may successfully claim that the results are invalid.

Like any device that gauges something, like a scale or speed detecting device, a breathalyzer requires regular calibration and maintenance. You may have grounds to claim that the officer who administered the test did not properly calibrate the breathalyzer before doing so. If the breathalyzer was not fully calibrated, it is possible that it delivered inaccurate results.

It is also possible that the officer who administered the test did not administer it properly. You may find grounds to claim that the officer incorrectly administered the test itself, possibly compromising the results.

This may apply to other sobriety tests in some way or another. If, for instance, the officer asks you to get out of the car and perform some standard sobriety test, like walking in a straight line or following a light with your eyes, you may have grounds to claim that the officer did not explain the rules of the test or asked you to perform the test somewhere that compromised your ability to follow the rules.

This may mean that the officer had you perform a walking test on a difficult, uneven surface, or one that was poorly lit, for instance.

Don't fight alone

While you may have grounds to challenge the results of a sobriety test, it is unwise to attempt this without professional legal counsel. Be sure to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you assess your circumstances and build a strong defense to protect your rights and your freedoms.

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