How Can I Challenge the Results of a Breathalyzer Test?

police officer administering breathalyzer to woman in car

Breathalyzers are electronic devices used to measure the alcohol content in a person’s breath and blood. A police officer may administer the test after an accident or during a traffic stop. Getting a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) can be scary, but you may be able to fight your charges. Contact a skilled Bergen County, New Jersey DUI lawyer to discuss how you can challenge the results of a breathalyzer test.

When Can A Breathalyzer Test Be Challenged?

During any DUI arrest a breathalyzer will likely be used. It can be a beneficial tool for police officers to get a better understanding of a driver’s sobriety or lack thereof. However, breathalyzers are not always the most reliable or effective tools. The following defenses may work to challenge the results of a breathalyzer test.

  • The test was tainted by other factors. Something in the driver’s mouth or around the area could have caused the test results to be corrupted. For example, if the driver used mouthwash, cough drops, or an asthma inhaler it could have caused a higher BAC level to appear. If the driver vomited or burped before taking the test it could also cause an issue in the validity of the results.
  • The machine was not properly taken care of. Breathalyzers are sensitive electronic devices. Without proper certification and calibration, they may not function properly. The device has to be inspected monthly and calibrated regularly to ensure the effectiveness of the tool. If it can be proven that the officers neglected the device’s maintenance it could cause the test results to be inadmissible.
  • The officer who administered the test was not trained. To properly administer the device an officer must be qualified and trained to use the breathalyzer. If they were not licensed or there was a lapse in their training it could result in dismissed charges.
  • The sample was improperly handled. The lab at the police station may have handled the sample wrong or stored it improperly, rendering it contaminated and unable to be used as evidence.

Do I Need an Attorney to Help Challenge the Test Results?

It is highly recommended for anyone being charged with a DUI or DWI in New Jersey to acquire the skills of an experienced attorney. You may not need one if you are choosing to plead guilty, but if you want to fight you should speak with a knowledgeable DUI lawyer. It is extremely hard to beat these charges without the help of an attorney.

Find a trusted attorney and explain the details of your situation. They will be able to better understand the predicament you are in and explain to you the legal process to come. They will also understand the above defense options and more, as well as know which will work best for your circumstances. Your attorney will effectively communicate with all necessary parties, acquire relevant documentation and information, and skillfully represent you in court. Reach out to an experienced DUI attorney today to begin discussing your options.

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