If you’re pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence and your blood alcohol content (BAC) registers as .08 or higher on the Breathalyzer, you may think that you have no chance of fighting the charges against you. However, that’s not necessarily the case.
Breathalyzers are important tools that help officers confirm their suspicions that someone has had too much to drink to be behind the wheel. However, like all tools, they’re not infallible. Neither are the officers who maintain and use them.
There are a number of potential ways that you can challenge a Breathalyzer result that shows you to be over the legal limit.
Calibration: Breathalyzers are electronic instruments. They need to be regularly and properly calibrated in order to get an accurate BAC measurement. An attorney can ask for evidence to show that the officer using the Breathalyzer had properly calibrated it.
Officer training: Law enforcement officers have to undergo training to be able to use a Breathalyzer on people they pull over. You have the right to request evidence that the officer who administered the test was properly trained in how to do so and how to read the results.
Probable cause: Police can’t just pull people over randomly unless they’re at a checkpoint. There has to be some type of violation, like speeding, or a person has to be driving in such a way that an officer has reason to suspect that he or she is under the influence. Further, when an officer pulls a vehicle over, the driver needs to be exhibiting signs of being drunk, such as slurred speech or a smell of alcohol, in order to administer the test. If that wasn’t the case, the Breathalyzer results may be inadmissible in court.
An experienced Maryland DUI attorney can discuss your particular case with you in detail and determine what options you have for challenging your Breathalyzer results and other elements of your arrest and ensuing charges.
Source: FindLaw, “5 Potential Ways to Challenge a Breathalyzer,” Brett Snider, Esq., accessed March 08, 2018