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3 ways to defend yourself after failing a chemical breath test

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2022 | DUI

If a police officer suspects you of driving under the influence (DUI), they will need to establish probable cause before they arrest you. If you have already caused a crash, the collision itself may provide probable cause for mandatory chemical testing and an arrest.

Otherwise, during a traffic stop, the police officer will likely administer field sobriety tests followed by a chemical breath test. It’s often the results of the breath test that lead to an arrest and later criminal charges.

If you fail the breath test, you may feel like a conviction is inevitable. However, there are at least three strategies people can employ to fight breath test results after an arrest.

Challenge the traffic stop

A police officer needs to have a justification for pulling you over. There are rules about what issues justify a traffic stop and what do not.

If they engaged in racial profiling or have a history of harassing you specifically, the traffic stop that resulted in your arrest may not be a legal stop, which may invalidate any evidence gathered. Asking an officer why they pulled you over can help you quickly determine if they had a viable reason for doing so.

Challenge the accuracy of the testing unit

Numerous issues can lead to a chemical test returning inaccurate results. Some of the more common issues include improper calibration or inadequate device maintenance by the police department. Mistakes during test administration could also compromise the accuracy of the results.

Reviewing the information from your traffic stop and the police department’s records regarding training and device maintenance could help you determine if this option might work for you.

Challenge the testing science altogether

Every year, there is more evidence questioning the use of chemical breath tests for drunk driving enforcement. Some jurisdictions have stopped using chemical breath tests for the primary evidence in impaired driving cases because they are easy for defense attorneys to successfully challenge.

You may be able to undermine the accuracy of the testing, possibly by providing medical evidence showing an alternate explanation for your test results. Bringing the accuracy of the test results into question can help you create a reasonable doubt about your guilt.

Fighting back against drunk driving charges can help you protect your freedom and your license.