It is never wise to simply accept a criminal charge, no matter how compelling the evidence against you may seem. This is particularly true when it comes to DUI charges, even those that include Breathalyzer evidence.
Many people assume that failing a breathalyzer is essentially game over for their driving record. However, there are a number of ways that a person may challenge these results and potentially see the charges dismissed or sentencing reduced.
If you face DUI charges after failing a Breathalyzer, do not waste any time beginning to build your defense. The longer you wait, the fewer options you have, and the easier it is for the prosecution to secure a conviction. Personal legal counsel from an experienced defense attorney is an excellent resource to help you understand the options you have and the various ways you may challenge the case against you.
Can you challenge the accuracy of your results?
Even though police use Breathalyzers regularly, and the results are usually accepted without scrutiny in court, these devices are not always reliable, and may produce inaccurate results in a number of ways.
Police must perform regular calibration and maintenance on the devices in order to ensure that they read intoxication levels properly. If the speedometer in your car falls out of calibration, then you may not realize that you are over the speed limit, or may think that you are driving faster than you actually are. In the same way, if a breathalyzer device falls out of calibration, you may receive DUI charges that you do not actually deserve.
If you can make a compelling argument that your Breathalyzer results are not reliable, then you may succeed in dismissing them in your case, or may see the charges dropped altogether.
Can you challenge the officer’s conduct or operation of the device?
Even if a device is calibrated and well-maintained, an officer who does not operate the device correctly may compromise the results. You may challenge the accuracy of the results if you can find grounds to claim that the officer did not properly operate the device while administering your test.
You may also have grounds to object to the charges entirely if the officer who issued them violated your rights in some way during the stop. Often, this may mean an officer did not follow proper procedures during the stop, specifically involving searching your vehicle or using necessary force during an arrest.
However you choose to build your defense, do not put it off. You only have so long to prepare, and the longer you wait, the less likely you are to overcome the charges or lessen your punishment, placing your rights and privileges in jeopardy.