Over 25 Years of Criminal Defense Experience

Breathalyzer results are not always reliable evidence

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2019 | Uncategorized

Failing a Breathalyzer test during a traffic stop typically leads to drunk driving charges which can impact a person’s ability to continue their education, find housing and maintain employment. If you recently failed a Breathalyzer test in Illinois, it is worth the time and effort necessary to build a strong legal defense against any drunk driving charges you received.

Many people assume that Breathalyzer results are automatically accepted by courts as bulletproof evidence of insobriety, but this is not always true. Examining the evidence closely often leads to discovering defensive options you may not realize you can use to protect yourself. A strong legal defense against drunk driving charges is one of the few ways to protect yourself against harsh, potentially unfair punishment.

Operator error and device calibration

It is true that Breathalyzer devices produce relatively reliable results (although not perfectly reliable), as long as it receives proper maintenance, gets regular calibration and the officer who administers the test uses it properly.

Without regular maintenance, a Breathalyzer may easily malfunction, producing inaccurate results. Similarly, if the device is not properly calibrated before the test, the results may come back skewed. These variations are often significant enough to impact drunk driving charges, so it is wise to look at these issues closely.

It is not common for police to commit operator error with a Breathalyzer, but it is possible. As you review your entire interaction with the officer who arrested you, consider any reasons you may have to believe that your Breathalyzer test was compromised by poor operation, maintenance or calibration.

Officer conduct and rights violations

It is also worth considering the conduct of the officer who arrested you. Regardless of your state of sobriety, police still have the duty to uphold the law. If the officer who arrested you violated your rights in the process, you may have grounds to challenge the charges because of the violation.

Building a strong legal defense is not a one-size-fits-all process. The details of your arrest are crucial to your defense, so you must understand the evidence against you and have as much time as possible to consider your legal options. It is not wise to wait until you are “ready” to build your defense, because the prosecution is already building its case against you.

By beginning your defense building today, you give yourself as much time as possible, strengthening your defense and helping you focus on your needs and priorities.