Disputing Breathalyzer results
Some criminal defense attorneys will advise drivers under suspicion of a DUI to refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test. The reason for this is that many prosecutors base a significant part of their DUI case on the results of this test. If the test results indicate that a driver’s blood alcohol level is above the legal limit of 0.08%, the driver is presumed to be impaired.
However, refusing a chemical breath test is a risky move. Under California’s implied consent law, drivers are presumed to consent to these tests as a condition of receiving a driver’s license. Drivers who refuse to submit to a chemical breath test will face penalties in addition to any DUI-related penalties and charges they may face.
It’s also important to know that if you did submit to a Breathalyzer test, there are still ways to dispute the accuracy of the results.
A defense attorney may find that the Breathalyzer device used to determine your BAC level was not properly calibrated or was improperly maintained.
Your attorney may find that the officer failed to properly administer the test. The police department may also have failed to properly train the officer on how to administer the test.
Rising blood alcohol levels
Another possibility is that too much time passed between the time you were stopped by the officer and the time the test was administered. Generally, BAC levels peak anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours after alcohol is consumed, then decline gradually.
Your BAC may have been below the legal limit when you were driving but was over the legal limit by the time the test was administered.
A criminal defense attorney representing a client facing DUI charges may dispute Breathalyzer results as part of their defense strategy. Consider speaking with an attorney in your area to find out if it would be an effective drunk driving defense strategy for you.