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Can you challenge the breathalyzer test result?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | DWI

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious mistake with far-reaching legal and personal consequences. Even if you are not caught, drunk driving increases your risk of causing an accident.

That said, if the police have reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated behind the wheel, they will stop you for an investigation. And this may involve taking a chemical test to ascertain your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. But can you challenge the breathalyzer test?

Understanding the importance of a chemical test in a DUI case

A breathalyzer test is crucial for establishing probable cause for a DUI arrest. However, there are instances when the breathalyzer test result may not be as accurate as it ought to be. Consequently, you may challenge the breathalyzer test result that the police presented against you in court on the following grounds:

When there was no probable cause for the DUI stop

Before getting to the fallibility of the breathalyzer device, it is important to note that law enforcement cannot stop you for a DUI investigation on baseless grounds. They must have probable cause to do so. In other words, they must observe you breaking some traffic law. If law enforcement stops you without probable cause, you may challenge any evidence they obtain from you (including the breathalyzer test result) in court. 

Improper testing procedures

The breathalyzer equipment is a scientific device. To give an accurate reading, it must be operated properly. First, the testing officer should be certified. Next, they must advise you on how to blow into the device. Finally, the device must be properly calibrated. Improper test administration can result in faulty readings and, thus, inaccurate results.

Protecting your rights

If you are charged with drunk driving, you need to explore your defense options. Learning more about New York DUI laws can help you come up with an effective defense for your drunk driving charges.