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DUI / DWI Resources
Can Breathalyzer Results Be Contested
Anyone who has been arrested for DUI or DWI because they failed a breathalyzer test knows the difficulty and shame involved in being processed through the system and losing their rights. The situation becomes exceptionally aggravating when you know you are innocent. It is a mistake to believe that breathalyzer results are the final word on your guilt. Breathalyzer results can be successfully contested in court, but you will need an experienced DUI attorney on your side to win your case.
Types of Breathalyzer Tests
When you are stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, you may potentially be asked to submit to two types of breathalyzer tests. The first test is called the preliminary alcohol screening, and it is usually performed roadside before you are arrested. Unless you are in Montana, you do not have to take this test. DUI attorneys suggest that everyone refuse this test. They are notoriously inaccurate. The only problem is that refusal is often grounds for the officer to charge you with DUI/DWI.
After you are charged, you will be taken to the police station and asked to submit to a chemical blood alcohol content test. This is usually in the form of a more sophisticated breathalyzer test. If you have been arrested for DUI/DWI, you cannot refuse to take this test without incurring severe penalties. However, an experienced DUI or DWI attorney can find grounds to contest the results and have them declared inadmissible as evidence.
Breathalyzer False Positives
Breathalyzers are not 100 percent accurate. Several factors may cause the machines to register false positives. This means the results show you are legally drunk when, in fact, you are not. According to Craig Medical, a leading wholesale distributor of breathalyzers used by law enforcement agencies across the United States, so many variables are present in each breathalyzer test that is administered; it is impossible to draw conclusions or correlations between tests.
Some of the factors that may cause a breathalyzer to give a false positive reading include the following:
- The presence of smoke, ionized oxygen or other interfering gases
- Improper calibration of the machine
- Improper administration of the test
- Medical conditions, such as hypoglycemia and diabetes