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Breathalyzer results are not always reliable

On behalf of Starbranch Law posted in blog on Monday, January 29, 2018.

When a police officer determines that a driver is too intoxicated to drive using the results of a breathalyzer, the driver may think that there is nothing he or she can do to fight the charges. This a normal feeling, but drivers who face DUI charges may have more ways to fight than they realize, including challenging the breathalyzer results themselves.

If you recently received DUI charges involving breathalyzer results, you should not wait another day before building a strong legal defense. Without some form of legal defense, you have nothing to protect you from whatever sentence a prosecutor recommends, and these punishments are often much harsher than is necessary.

For many drivers facing DUI charges, it is difficult to understand the laws that apply to their circumstances and the legal options they have available. If you need guidance while building your defense and responding to the charges, an experienced defense attorney can help assess your options and protect your rights.

Are breathalyzers reliable?

Breathalyzers are impressive pieces of technology, but like all pieces of technology, they are fallible. If a breathalyzer does not receive regular maintenance and calibration, it may produce inaccurate results, leading to unfair charges.

Consider the entire interaction with your arresting officer. If you have any reason to suspect that the officer did not properly calibrate the breathalyzer or maintain it properly, you may have grounds to contest the results.

It is also possible for human error to impact the results, if the officer did not properly use the device or did not clearly indicate how you should engage with it. You may have grounds to claim that the officer did not properly administer the test, compromising the results.

The role of the officer

An officer who arrests you must obey the laws that govern his or her conduct during the traffic stop, even if you allegedly broke one or more laws while behind the wheel. In simple terms, a police officer is not legally entitled to break the law in order to enforce the law.

If the officer violated your rights during the stop, you may have grounds to claim that the charges are essentially invalid. Most commonly, officers may violate a suspect’s fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, or violate a suspect’s rights against unnecessary bodily harm.

There are many ways that an officer may violate a driver’s rights during a DUI stop. It is wise to carefully go over each detail of your interaction with the officer to identify any actions or omissions that may help you build your defense. An experienced attorney help you understand the nuances of the law to build a strong defense and protect your rights and privileges.

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Harry N. Starbranch
Harry Starbranch
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