Can you challenge the results of a breath test?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Being charged with a DUI in Massachusetts can disrupt your entire life. However, there are ways you can challenge the results of a breath test.

How breath tests work

While these tests are often reliable, there are times when they might not give accurate results. For example, eating certain types of foods or having certain medical conditions such as GERD can present a false positive reading on a breath test. A person should not be convicted of drunk driving as a result.

Common ways to challenge a breath test

If a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence, you have a right to challenge the results. In addition to the two reasons mentioned above, it’s possible that the Breathalyzer was not properly calibrated. If this is the case, then the defense could argue that the blood alcohol concentration reading the test gave is inaccurate.

Another way to challenge the breath test is to state that it was unreliable. Blowing several times into the test should produce the same result. However, if you get different readings each time, it’s considered unreliable.

Multiple breath tests should be done to ensure that the test is working properly. If the police officer only checked your breath once, you can challenge the results and explain that the test was only used once.

Using some type of product that contains alcohol can give false results on a breath test. For example, if you used mouthwash or a breath freshener shortly before the officer administered the test, you can challenge the results based on that.

A common challenge to a breath test is to claim that the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop you. Police cannot randomly stop just anyone and request that they take a breath test. There must be some other reason to pull you over. This challenge could easily get the results thrown out.


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