When a police officer uses a breathalyzer during a traffic stop and determines that a driver is above the legal limit, many drivers believe that they are out of options to defend themselves against the charges. However, there are a number of methods you can use to fight charges based on breathalyzer results. Sometimes it depends on the nature of the driver's interaction with the officer.
While a breathalyzer does offer relatively dependable results in many cases, there are certain ways you may challenge the accuracy or validity of the results.
Challenging breathalyzer results
For a breathalyzer to dependably deliver results that hold up in court, the device itself must receive regular maintenance and calibration. If you can identify any reasons to question the results of the breathalyzer based on its condition or the officer's use of it, you may challenge the results.
You may also challenge the results simply on grounds that breathalyzers are not entirely accurate to begin with. While this can be very hard to prove, some defendants successfully question breathalyzer results with careful preparation.
Challenging the officer's conduct
Even if the results themselves are otherwise difficult to question, you may find aspects of the officer's behavior during the stop require further scrutiny. You may be able to claim that the officer is not properly trained to use a breathalyzer.
Similarly, you should always remain aware of anything an officer may do or say that violates your civil rights. Even if the results of your breathalyzer are bulletproof, you may have them thrown out entirely if the officer who arrested you did not follow proper procedures.
Don't fight your charges alone
No matter how you received the charges, you deserve a strong defense. Take the opportunity to protect your rights after a drunk driving arrest. Be sure to seek out all the legal help you need to fight these charges and get them behind you as soon as possible.