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Failing a breath test doesn’t automatically lead to a conviction

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2022 | Criminal Law |

The evidence that the state gathers will determine what happens when you face criminal charges. For those accused of driving under the influence (DUI), prosecutors will likely rely on the combination of information about their driving before the traffic stop, statements made by the driver, their performance on their field sobriety test and chemical test results. 

Many people think that a failed breath test will automatically lead to a criminal conviction. However, you can fail a breath test for reasons that have nothing to do with alcohol consumption. Instead of pleading guilty because of your test results, you can look into different ways to challenge them. 

Breath tests can return inaccurate results

Looking at the accuracy of chemical breath testing raises questions about how much faith the public and the criminal justice system put in these devices. Chemical breath tests can display false-positive results for a number of reasons. 

Dietary and health issues that affect the person taking the test could lead to a false positive. So can prescription medication. Although it is difficult to actually administer the test incorrectly, the police officer may not have maintained or calibrated the unit appropriately before using it to administer the test. 

Those accused of DUIs can sometimes successfully defend themselves by challenging their breath test results. In situations where there isn’t a plausible explanation for the test results, drivers may have other defense options, like challenging the legality of the traffic stop. Rather than just pleading guilty, it often makes sense to look into your different possible defenses win the state accuses you of a DUI offense.

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