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Moncks Corner Legal Issues Blog

Can I challenge a breathalyzer test?

One of the most common ways to fight against a traffic ticket is to question the validity and reliability of the radar gun. You may wonder if it is also possible to question breathalyzer test results if you are facing DUI charges.

It is possible to challenge breathalyzer results in certain instances. The most common ways to challenge breathalyzer results are to challenge the exactitude of the breathalyzer device itself or to challenge the police officer’s training or right to use the device, according to FindLaw.

How can I challenge the breathalyzer device results?

In the most common challenges to breathalyzer results on their own merit, the defendant will claim that the breathalyzer was either not reliable or not properly calibrated at the time the police officer used it to ascertain his or her sobriety.

For example, in a DUI trial in Ohio, the defendant successfully convinced the judge that the brand of breathalyzer device the state was using was not scientifically reliable. The police must testify somebody properly calibrated the breathalyzer at the time of its use. If the police cannot do this, it is possible the courts will dismiss the DUI charge.

How can I challenge the police officer’s training or authority?

Police officers must have training on breathalyzers before using them. If the police cannot testify that the officer who used the breathalyzer had breathalyzer training, it is possible the courts will dismiss the charges against you.

Police also must use breathalyzers as part of a legal search of your person and vehicle. The police officer must prove that he or she had probable cause to use the breathalyzer on you in the first place.