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Can I challenge breathalyzer results?

If the police have accused you of DUI, it is likely that breathalyzer results are very important to the case the police have against you. Depending on your circumstances, however, it is possible that the results of that breathalyzer test may be problematic.

It is, indeed, possible to challenge breathalyzer results in court. According to FindLaw, breathalyzer results must be reliable and issued by an officer who has comprehensive breathalyzer training to be valid in a court of law.

What makes breathalyzer results reliable?

If you take your case to trial, it is possible to challenge the reliability of evidence against you. Breathalyzers, historically, have not always produced reliable results. For example, in a specific case in Ohio, the courts found a particular brand of breathalyzer was not scientifically reliable. Depending on your situation, this may be a valid defense.

Additionally, reliable breathalyzer tests require the officer to calibrate the device correctly. The prosecution must prove that the breathalyzer was correctly calibrated before the officers used it on you. If they cannot prove this, then the results are suspect.

How does training affect breathalyzer results?

This works along the same logic as challenging a ticket based on the training an officer has with a radar gun. Officers must also be properly trained on using breathalyzers for the results to be valid evidence in court. Usually the prosecution proves this by producing sworn testimony to the fact that the officer had proper training. If an officer can not swear under oath that he or she has been properly trained in breathalyzer use, then it is possible to have the results thrown out of court.

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