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3 challenges to a breath test

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Criminal Law

For non-commercial drivers who are over 21 years old, the legal limit is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. This limit applies to the vast majority of drivers, and it’s the reason that police officers give out breath tests. If they get a reading that shows that someone is at or above 0.08%, that provides evidence for them to use when seeking a conviction on drunk driving charges.

But it does not guarantee that conviction. There are a few different challenges to breath test results that may be used.

The test was not calibrated or maintained

The breath test needs to go through routine calibration and maintenance to ensure that it works properly. The officer may have neglected to do so, meaning that the results of the test can’t be trusted. Even a small discrepancy could be a very big deal, such as the difference between 0.07%, and 0.08%.

The officer lacked training

It’s also important to note that not everyone knows how to use a breath test device properly. Officers need to be trained. If someone was never trained or given proper instructions,  it may be unclear if they used the device or analyzed the results correctly.

Something else triggered the test

In some cases, other substances may trigger the test. One common example is mouthwash, which can sometimes contain alcohol. Another example is if someone burps during a breath test, which can artificially inflate the results.

These are just a few examples of how you can challenge your breath test. If you’re facing criminal charges, be sure you understand your legal options.