When are breath tests inadmissible?

| Nov 16, 2018 | Breath Test Refusal

Breath tests are a large and expanding part of the fight against drunk driving for many police departments and other law enforcement agencies. There are several differences between models and brands, although most people who breathe into them aren’t aware of them. The inconsistencies in “Breathalyzers,” as the tests are known, can eliminate them as evidence.

  • How does the model of Breathalyzer matter?

The accuracy of certain tests, and therefore certain models of tests, have been called into question before. A 2013 case included a ruling that a specific brand of device was not scientifically reliable. These sorts of findings can cause doubt in a test for a jury or prosecutor.

  • Can non-defective models still show the wrong readings?

Breathalyzer units must be properly calibrated to detect the correct level of alcohol on a subject’s breath. Officers who administered a breath test should be called to deliver testimony about the calibration before the results are taken as fact.

  • What other circumstances could dismiss a Breathalyzer as evidence?

Arresting officers may not be properly trained to use radar guns, breath tests and other tools to prove impaired or reckless driving. In addition, some inexperienced officers may demand a test or search when there was no probable cause to suspect a subject. In these cases, breath tests and other evidence that was the results of these searches are inadmissible.

  • Do I need a lawyer to dismiss breath test evidence?

Difficulties with drunk driving charges are generally best dealt with by legal counsel. An attorney can help review the facts of a drunk driving arrest and possibly dismiss or reduce charges.

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