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Why can you challenge a breath test?

Sep 1, 2022 | DWI

Sometimes, people will assume that a breath test is the definitive source of evidence in a DWI case. If you take a test and it shows that you’re over the legal limit, they assume that it is an open and shut case. You’ve clearly broken the law and you’re going to be convicted.

Don’t make this mistake. There’s nothing that guarantees a conviction in the case, and even the results of a breath test can certainly be wrong. Here are a few reasons you may want to challenge it.

The officer made a mistake

First of all, the police officer themselves may have made a mistake when administering the test. Perhaps the officer never got the training that they needed, or maybe they were in a hurry. Errors in test administration could lead to results that cannot be trusted in court.

The breath test itself was not calibrated

Additionally, there are cases where the breath test device doesn’t work properly. For this reason, police departments are supposed to do routine maintenance and calibrate these devices on a schedule. If they’ve neglected to do so, that could call the results into question.

Something else influenced the reading

Finally, there are cases when the results of the breath test have been influenced by something other than the concentration of alcohol in a person’s blood. A common example is if someone was using mouthwash. This could contain alcohol that may be left in the mouth, leading to a much higher reading than a breath test would have provided otherwise.

As you can see, you can certainly challenge the results of a test in a DUI case. Make sure you know exactly what steps you need to take.