Could I Beat a DUI Charge After Failing a Breathalyzer?

 Posted on November 19,2021 in DUI

arlington heights dui defense lawyerYou complied with a breathalyzer test after being pulled over, and it showed that you were over .08. Now you are facing DUI charges and it feels as if you have no hope of avoiding a conviction. This situation may feel insurmountable, but it is not. Even if you failed a breathalyzer, there are still ways an experienced attorney can defend you. Successfully challenging the results of a breath test is not only possible, it is one of the most common DUI defense strategies. Like other medical testing equipment, breathalyzers are sensitive devices that must be used correctly to produce accurate results. If you are facing a potential DUI conviction, securing strong legal representation should be your top priority. 

How Can Breathalyzer Results be Challenged? 

Breathalyzer results are not infallible, although prosecutors sometimes act as if they are. These devices must be maintained, used, and calibrated correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions to produce accurate and reliable results. If the police department you were arrested by failed to do so, there is a strong possibility that your breath test results will be inadmissible. Common defects in breath test maintenance and procedures include: 

  • User error - Not all police officers are appropriately trained to administer breathalyzer tests. There are procedures that must be followed to avoid an inaccurate result, such as a mandatory observation period where the arrestee must be monitored to make sure they do not put anything in their mouth that could affect the test. The results could be invalid if any part of the tests device’s instructions for use were not followed. 

  • Maintenence error - Breathalyzers must be maintained and calibrated by someone who is professionally trained to do so. A breathalyzer that has not been calibrated correctly by an expert can produce artificially high results. Testing must also be done regularly to ensure consistent results.

  • Electronic interference - This is not well known, but certain radio frequencies can interfere with breathalyzers. In chaotic police stations, radios are everywhere. Most officers are walking around with radios strapped to their belts. If the room you were tested in was filled with radio activity, your breathalyzer results could be invalid. 

Successfully challenging the results of a breathalyzer may require quite a bit of technical knowledge on top of a familiarity with breath test procedures. The bottom line is that even if you failed a breathalyzer, there is hope of avoiding a conviction if your defense is handled correctly. 

Talk to an Illinois DUI Lawyer

If you are facing DUI charges in Illinois, it is important that you take your case seriously. Reach out to an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney for help. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law is experienced in challenging the results of a breathalyzer to keep misleading results out of court. Call 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation. 



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