How to challenge a breathalyzer test result

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

In Texas, authorities use Breathalyzer machines to help them determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol. If the machine determines that a motorist has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .08%, that is enough to take that motorist into custody for DUI. Of course, an officer may still take a driver into custody regardless of what the machine says even if your BAC is under the legal limit.

Breathalyzers aren’t perfect

It’s possible that the machine used to conduct your test was not calibrated correctly or was other not functioning properly when your breath sample was analyzed. It’s also possible that something that you ate or drank before being tested skewed the results. It’s not uncommon for items such as breath mints or pasta sauce to send your BAC reading skyrocketing. The results may also be skewed if you have acid reflux or a similar health condition.

Officers aren’t perfect

Typically, officers who use Breathalyzer machines must be trained to do so. Absent this training, it may be possible to obtain a false result or one that can be challenged in court. If a judge or jury agree with your claim of officer error, your drunk driving case may be tossed before or during trial.

There was no probable cause

Another way to get a case tossed is to claim that there was no probable cause to ask you to submit to the test in question. This would likely mean that you are challenging the validity of the traffic stop that eventually resulted in the test. You may also claim that there was no reason for an officer to believe that you were impaired even if the stop was valid.

If you’re convicted of drunk driving, you might face penalties such as jail time, a fine or the loss of driving privileges. A DUI on your record may also make it harder to find or retain employment as it may result in the loss of professional licenses or other credentials.