Your Future Is Our Focus
Michael P. McGuire

A failed breath test does not mean you’re guilty of DWI

The police pull you over. They suspect you’ve been drinking and driving. You’re placed under arrest and submit to a breathalyzer test at the station. The results show that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit. What happens now?

There’s a belief that breath test results are objective proof that a person was driving while intoxicated. Often, these results are the cornerstone of a prosecutor’s case. However, there has been a growing concern about the reliability of these tests. In addition to challenging the accuracy of the results, you can also question BAC results on other grounds.

Poor or inadequate training

Police officers must be appropriately trained in the use of a breathalyzer machine. They must also recertify their license to administer a breath test every three years. The results of a breath test might be inadmissible if the officer was not licensed to perform a test or if the officer’s license was not up-to-date.

Improperly maintained equipment

Breathalyzer machines are sensitive pieces of equipment. Regular maintenance and proper calibration are essential. Failing to take these types of steps can lead to inaccurate results. You should have your attorney review the machine’s maintenance logs.

Other substances can skew the results

Due to their sensitivity, breathalyzer machines can pick up on substances other than alcohol. A burp just before taking the test can cause more alcohol to be present in the mouth. Cough syrup and prescription medications that contain alcohol can also skew the results.

You’re innocent until proven guilty

A failed breath test is not an automatic open and shut case. You have rights. An attorney can help you protect and defend those rights. Call our law firm at 732-704-7331 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.