Can I challenge a breathalyzer test?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Many drunk driving charges are built on a breathalyzer test that the accused driver allegedly failed. Because of how serious the potential penalties and consequences of a DUI charge are, it is critical to know how to challenge the reliability or accuracy of a breathalyzer test that may have led to serious criminal DUI charges.

In general, breathalyzer tests must be administered according to the proper training received by the police officer administering the test. Additionally, the administering officer must also ensure that the accused driver’s bodily fluids do not interfere with the breathalyzer test.

Breathalyzer tests must be routinely maintained and calibrated according to a set schedule to produce accurate and reliable results. Otherwise, the reliability and accuracy of the breathalyzer test may be challenged. Requirements for breathalyzer tests include:

  • The breathalyzer test must be on a conforming list of acceptable devices;
  • The breathalyzer test must be properly maintained and routinely checked for accuracy and regular and set intervals;
  • The police officer administering the breathalyzer test must be certified to use that particular device;
  • The police officer administering the breathalyzer test must do so in accordance with the training they have received;
  • The police officer administering the breathalyzer test must ensure the accused driver’s bodily functions, including burping, vomiting, etc., does not interfere with the test results; and
  • The breathalyzer test must capture at least two measurable readings within .02 of one another.

Without these requirements being met, it may be possible to challenge a breath test. Anyone, including a college student, facing drunk driving charges should understand the value and importance of a strong criminal defense strategy against the charges they are facing which may include challenging a breathalyzer test.


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