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Several potential ways to challenge breath test results

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2023 | Criminal Defense, DUI

It only takes one instance of drunk driving to lead to a DUI. Sometimes, Oklahoma law enforcement uses breathalyzers to make DUI-related determinations. However, you can challenge a breathalyzer’s results in court.

Challenging a breathalyzer

On the surface, breathalyzers look like fully functional devices. But they’re not always reliable. There have been numerous cases won when breathalyzers produced inaccurate results. For example, one person won a lawsuit against law enforcement when a breathalyzer reported a false positive. You can also dispute whether the breathalyzer user properly calibrated it.

Disputing the breathalyzer operator

You can also challenge a DUI charge by disputing how police officers handled themselves. As with any job, police officers have rules they must follow.

Before administering a breathalyzer test, law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion and probable cause. Reasonable suspicion means an officer had a valid reason to pull you over. The police need probable cause of your intoxication before giving you a breathalyzer test. Your case could get thrown out if an officer had only reasonable suspicion and not probable cause or vice versa.

Explaining your conditions

Many people live with medical conditions. But you might not realize that some ailments can skew a breathalyzer’s results. Recent dental work can leave behind alcohol-trapping adhesive. Your job can also cause false breathalyzer readings, especially if you work around acetone. Understandably, some individuals take medication to prevent or reduce the effects of illnesses. Even something as insignificant as breath spray or mouthwash contains enough alcohol to cause false positives on a breathalyzer.

The aftermath of a DUI charge can mean spending time in jail, paying fines or both. Challenging a breathalyzer’s results might help you avoid these unwanted outcomes.