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Can a DUI breath test result be challenged?

Even though law enforcement would have you believe that the results gathered from a chemical test or breath test are iron-clad, it is possible to build an effective defense depending on numerous factors. Facing the possibility of criminal consequences can be a daunting experience, but it is important to understand your options.

A DUI charge can do lasting damage to an individual’s freedom and finances. It is important to challenge the results when possible. While every situation is different, there are four common methods that can be used to challenge the validity of a breath test result:

  • An unreliable machine: Products relying on even the simplest mechanical functions are not immune to malfunction. A Breathalyzer is no different. Whether through defective materials, faulty construction or poor maintenance, the breath test might not produce valid or reliable results.
  • Improper calibration: If the machine has been manufactured and stored properly, it still must be correctly calibrated between uses. Proper calibration is a crucial step in ensuring the machine will provide an accurate result.
  • Lack of training: From use and cleaning to storage and calibration, the officer is responsible for numerous details. If the officer hasn’t received the necessary training and instructions, then the breath test results themselves could be flawed and inaccurate.
  • Illegal traffic stop: Even before the machine is called into question, you might challenge the validity of the traffic stop itself. Did the officer have reasonable suspicion to pull you over? Was there probable cause that you were driving impaired?

The criminal consequences of a DUI can be devastating. From fines and increased insurance premiums to jail time and the loss of driving privileges, drivers can face a range of punishments. It is wise to ensure you understand your rights and your options for a strong defense.