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Problems with breathalyzers

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2022 | DUI/DWI

Legal troubles usually follow when someone fails a breathalyzer after a police stop. Failing a breathalyzer test could mean drunk driving charges even when the driver didn’t drink. Breathalyzer tests are not perfect, nor are the people administering them. Problems with a breathalyzer test result may become the cornerstone of a DUI defense in an Indiana courtroom.

Issues with breathalyzer tests

A breathalyzer, like any product, may suffer from defects. The results might be inaccurate if the breathalyzer has problems that undermine its reliability. Since accurate recordings are necessary to establish the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the results from a defective device may not be acceptable in court.

The police officer handling the breathalyzer test must perform deliberate steps to ensure the device works properly. Calibrating the breathalyzer incorrectly could undermine the results, probably casting any BAC readings. And remember, criminal charges require proof beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction.

Questions about the police officer’s training may arise, as well. If the officer did not receive the appropriate training, maybe the officer made a mistake with the breathalyzer. Once again, any mishaps when taking the test could undermine the results.

Raising concerns about the DUI arrest

A criminal defense strategy could look at many elements of the arrest and subsequent BAC test. A vital question involves asking whether the police had probable cause to make the arrest. If the driver did not give the police a valid reason to perform a stop, any acquired DUI evidence might be inadmissible.

Even laboratory blood test results may face questions. Problems in the lab could skew results, bringing forth concerns about the results. So, there are many paths a DUI defense could take.