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What are the common challenges to breathalyzer test results?

Breathalyzer tests are frequently conducted by law enforcement officials to try and establish whether a person was over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit permitted while driving. A Breathalyzer test is not the most accurate or reliable way to establish BAC. A blood test is. However, a Breathalyzer test is a convenient way to establish a preliminary result on the scene.

This blog will provide a brief overview into what Breathalyzer tests are and what challenges can be made before the courts when a defendant believes that the Breathalyzer test was not accurate or they are otherwise dissatisfied with the result.

A Breathalyzer test is a piece of equipment that the user blows into. The instrument is intended to analyze the person's breath and then establish their BAC level.

What are the most frequently used challenges to breathalyzer outcomes?

Most often, defendants will attempt to claim that the piece of apparatus that they used for the test was in not good working order at the time of the test. These instruments go through rigorous maintenance and quality control, however, devices malfunctioning can still happen.

If it can be proved that the device in question was not well maintained, there can be doubt raised in relation to the test result's accuracy. Smoking, vomiting, burping or eating immediately before the breath test can also influence the result.

If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI and have reason to believe that the Breathalyzer test that you took produced an inaccurate result, the Quinn Law Firm can help.  Please call us at 814-833-2222 for a free initial consultation. 

Source: FindLaw, "breathalyzer calibration," accessed Sep. 18, 2017

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