999 Fifth Avenue, Suite 350, San Rafael, CA 94901

Call Today for Your Free Consultation
Call Us 415-729-7300

Can Breathalyzer Test Results Be Challenged in DUI Cases?

 Posted on December 13, 2023 in DUI

Richmond DUI Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with DUI (driving under the influence) in California, one of the key pieces of evidence against you may be the results of a breathalyzer test. These tests are commonly used by law enforcement to determine a driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, it is important to understand that there are a variety of ways that breathalyzer test results may be challenged in DUI cases. An experienced attorney can review your case and help you determine your best options for defense, including challenging the evidence against you or using other strategies to help you avoid a conviction.

The Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests

Breathalyzer tests are designed to estimate a person's BAC based on their breath sample. These tests will be performed at a police station after a driver is arrested for DUI. Under California’s implied consent law, if a driver is asked to take a breathalyzer test after being arrested and refuses, their driver’s license will be suspended. The most common type of breathalyzer used is known as an evidential breath testing (EBT) device, which measures the amount of alcohol present in a person’s breath and converts it into an estimated BAC.

While these devices are widely used by law enforcement agencies, they are not infallible. There are several factors that can affect the accuracy of a breathalyzer test:

  • Maintenance and calibration: Breathalyzers must be properly maintained and calibrated regularly to ensure accurate results. If there is any issue with the maintenance or calibration process, it could lead to inaccurate readings.

  • User error: The proper administration of a breathalyzer test requires specific training and adherence to strict protocols. If an officer fails to follow these protocols or makes errors during the testing process, this could impact the reliability of the results.

  • Medical issues or personal factors: Certain medical conditions, such as acid reflux or diabetes, can interfere with breathalyzer readings and result in falsely elevated BAC levels.

Potential Defenses Against Breathalyzer Test Results

If you believe that your breathalyzer test results were inaccurate or unreliable, you may be able to challenge them in your DUI case. Here are some potential defenses that can be used:

  • If the officer who administered the breathalyzer test did not follow proper procedures or made errors during the testing process, it could call into question the validity of the results. Your attorney may be able to review training records or other information to determine whether an officer was qualified to perform a breathalyzer test or whether they have had a history of inaccurate tests.

  • Breathalyzers must be regularly calibrated to ensure accurate readings. If there is evidence to suggest that the device was not properly calibrated at the time of your test, it could cast doubt on its reliability. Your lawyer can review records to determine when a device was most recently serviced or calibrated, which may indicate whether there were any issues that could have led to inaccurate results.

  • If you have a medical condition that could skew the results of a breathalyzer test, or if factors such as foods you recently ate may have affected BAC readings, your attorney may be able to present evidence supporting these claims and argue that your BAC level was falsely elevated.

Contact Our Sonoma DUI Attorney for Breathalyzer Tests

If you plan to challenge breathalyzer test results in your DUI case, it is crucial to seek legal representation from an experienced DUI attorney. At Burglin Law Offices, P.C., our Richmond DUI defense lawyer has a thorough understanding of California's DUI laws and the issues that may affect breathalyzers or other BAC tests. We can review all aspects of your case, including the administration and calibration of the breathalyzer test, any potential errors by law enforcement officers, and any relevant medical conditions that may have impacted your BAC reading. We will work diligently to build a strong defense strategy to help you avoid a DUI conviction. Contact us at 415-729-7300 to set up a free consultation today.




Share this post:
Back to Top