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How to Challenge a Failed Breathalyzer Test Result

Posted on : October 30, 2017, By:  Andrew Whitehead
Delaware DUI Attorney

If you were pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol, chances are you took a breathalyzer test. While this test can be declined, it’s usually not a good idea to do so. This is because it means that your driver’s license is automatically suspended. Failing the test, however, can leave you with questions on what you should do next. Here’s how you can challenge the accuracy of breathalyzer test results.

Administering the Test Correctly

The officer must administer the test correctly, which usually means following a list of protocols. This may include monitoring you prior to the test to make sure nothing entered your mouth: like food, drink, candy, or cigarettes. It also means providing you with the proper instructions needed to complete the test. If, for example, the officer did not monitor you and you drank soda before the test, the results may be considered inaccurate.

Calibrating the Test Properly

Breathalyzer test equipment must be calibrated properly on a regular basis in order to produce consistent, accurate results. Police officers must be able to show when and how their equipment was calibrated. Equipment that went beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations for calibration may be considered as providing test results that are unreliable. Your lawyer will typically ask the court to produce calibration records. If the records cannot be brought forward or calibrations weren’t done according to manufacturer instructions, your test results may be omitted from court.

Medical Explanations.

In many cases, there’s a sound medical explanation regarding why the result was higher than the legally allowed limit. For example, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or acid reflux can cause mouth alcohol levels to raise above legal limits. This could happen if an episode occurs shortly before the breathalyzer test is administered. Your attorney will carefully review your health history to determine if you have any medical conditions or take any medications that could affect the accuracy of the breathalyzer test results.

Contact Whitehead Law Today

At Whitehead Law, we know how challenging facing a DUI arrest can be. We know that your future is on the line. We are committed to providing you with comprehensive legal representation throughout your case. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss the details of your case and possible defense strategies with a criminal defense lawyer by calling our office at (302) 248-2000. We are available now to take your call.