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Can I Dispute a Breathalyzer Test?

If you are pulled over for drunk driving you could face serious repercussions. A police officer may administer a breathalyzer test to assess your BAC (blood alcohol content). It is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Breathalyzers have been known to show inaccuracies on occasion. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can dispute your breathalyzer test. Speak with a Tehama County challenging DUI evidence lawyer to learn more about your options and begin discussing the best defense for your case.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you are arrested for intoxicated driving it is important that you first hire an attorney to work with you. The prospect of being convicted of a DUI can be frightening especially when you consider the penalties associated with the crime. Any person who is caught operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be charged with a DUI.

If you are convicted of a DUI in California you could face license suspension, high fines, probation, and even jail time. It is recommended that you hire a lawyer to advocate on your behalf. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can fight your charges and avoid the full extent of the California penal code.

How Can I Dispute a Breathalyzer Test Result?

In many DUI cases, the prosecutor’s argument hinges on the results of a breathalyzer test. With the help of your attorney, you can dispute these results and potentially have your charges reduced or even dismissed. The following may be valid defensive strategies for a breathalyzer test.

  • The breathalyzer may have not been calibrated properly. The device has to be calibrated periodically to ensure the effectiveness of the machine. Your lawyer may request calibration records and check if they are up to date. If the records show inadequate care for the machine the results could be objectionable.
  • A licensed instructor must inspect the breathalyzer monthly and issue a certification stating that the inspection yielded positive results. If the machine does not have a proper certification it could benefit your case.
  • If the lab at the police department did not properly store the breath sample it could be deemed inadmissible.
  • Your lawyer could assess whether or not the test was contaminated. Things like mouthwash, inhalers, and nail polish or remover could contain alcohol and taint the test.
  • A police officer who administers a breathalyzer must be properly certified. If they were unlicensed or their certification lapsed then the test could be corrupted.
  • The traffic stop could have also been unlawful. If the officer had no valid reason to pull you over in the first place they committed an illegal traffic stop which could result in your charges being dismissed.

Depending on the specifics of your situation one or more of the above may be true. If you can prove one of these defenses in court the breathalyzer evidence could be deemed inadmissible which would greatly benefit your defense.