Can I Dispute a Roadside Breathalyzer’s Test Results?

Driving while under the influence (DUI) is a severe legal offense. Understandably, these charges can be frightening and overwhelming as it may seem as if the evidence against you is insurmountable. When law enforcement officers have reasonable suspicion that a driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence, they can use a breathalyzer device to measure their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you’ve been charged with DUI based on the results of a breathalyzer test, it’s in your best interest to contact a determined Rockland County DUI Attorney who can help you explore available defenses. Please continue reading to learn how you can dispute a roadside breathalyzer’s test results. 

Can I Challenge a Breathalzyer’s Test Results?

In New York, operating a vehicle with a BAC level of 0.08% or higher is illegal. If you’re asked to take a breathalyzer test and blow above the legal limit, you can face DUI charges. The following include some of the possible ways to challenge breathalyzer evidence in court:

  • The breathalyzer was not correctly calibrated: Like any other electronic measuring instrument, breathalyzers must be properly calibrated to measure a motorist’s BAC accurately. The police officer administering the test must periodically ensure the functionality of the breath-testing device. An improperly calibrated or poorly maintained machine will produce unreliable results.
  • The breathalyzer was not properly certified: The breath testing machine must be inspected monthly. If the police department cannot provide this certificate as evidence, the jurors can consider the reliability of this evidence, as these devices may not always produce accurate readings.
  • The officer lacked training: If the officer is not qualified or adequately certified, you can potentially challenge a roadside breathalyzer’s test results. Without proper training, an officer’s testimony may be unreliable and inadmissible in court.
  • The officer failed to comply with the 20-minute observing rule: A DUI charge can be dismissed if it is determined that law enforcement officers failed to observe you for twenty minutes before administering the test. If they fail to comply with this observing period, the test results may be excluded from evidence in court. When breath tests are contaminated by forms of alcohol contained in something else, such as asthma spray, cough drops, mouthwash, or other contaminants, it can skew the results.
  • The officer did not have probable cause to pull you over: Even if a law enforcement officer is trained correctly and the device is calibrated correctly, reading can still be thrown out if they performed an illegal search. Law enforcement officers must have a valid basis for stopping your car.

These are some potential ways to challenge a breathalyzer’s test results. Disputing a breathalyzer test based on the device that provides an inaccurate or skewed BAC result can be difficult. As such, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of an experienced Rockland County DUI attorney who can help you mount a robust legal defense. We are prepared to defend your rights at The Law Office of Carl Spector.