Many motorists assume that a failed breath test means an automatic conviction for driving under the influence, so they do not even try to defend themselves. But even if your breath test reads over the legal limit, there are options for fighting the charges.
The first thing to consider is the integrity of the test itself.
Has the equipment been properly maintained and calibrated?
The machines used for breath tests require maintenance and calibration for accuracy. Your attorney can request maintenance records to determine if the officer used faulty or poorly-maintained equipment.
Did the officer administer the test correctly?
Proper administration of a breath test is imperative. With dash cameras and body cameras gaining popularity in law enforcement, footage from the traffic stop can show if there was any deviation from the procedure that could negate your results.
Did you pass the field sobriety tests?
During a traffic stop for a suspected DUI, officers typically start with a field sobriety test, including reciting the alphabet, walking in a straight line and balance activities. If you passed the field sobriety test, it may cast doubt on the breath test results.
Was there a delay in testing?
If you were on the scene for half an hour or more before the test, you can argue that delayed absorption may have altered the test results and that you were not over the limit at the time of the stop.
A failed breath test does not lock in your case. Consider your options for challenging the charges.