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Are Breathalyzer test results always accurate?

Building a defense against drunk driving charges requires examining all the evidence against a suspected drunk driver, typically including the results of a Breathalyzer test. Many people assume that failing a Breathalyzer test is a one-way-ticket to a drunk driving conviction, but this is not always true.

Breathalyzers and other similar devices may produce inaccurate results in many circumstances, depending on the calibration and condition of the device used, as well as the conduct of the officer who administers the test. If you recently failed a Breathalyzer test and received drunk driving charges, it is wise to look at any factors that may have affected the device your arresting officer used. You may find that the case against you is not as airtight as you expect, and you may even find valid reasons for dismissing the charges altogether.

Factors that affect Breathalyzer accuracy

Breathalyzers gauge the amount of alcohol in a driver's bloodstream, and produces results that may mean the difference between a written warning and an arrest. When a Breathalyzer device receives proper calibration and regular maintenance, its results are not always completely accurate, and if the device is not calibrated or properly maintained the results are even less dependable.

As you examine the circumstances of your arrest, it is wise to look for any indications that the Breathalyzer your arresting officer used was not properly calibrated or maintained. Casting doubt on the reliability of these results is often an effective way to see your charges dismissed.

The role of your arresting officer

It is possible that your arresting officer used the Breathalyzer device improperly, or violated your rights in some other way during your interaction. All officers who use Breathalyzer devices to determine intoxication must undergo training to use the device properly, because improper operation can affect the device's results, and this can easily lead to an unjust arrest.

Even if you do not find grounds to challenge the results of your Breathalyzer test, you should examine the behavior of your arresting officer. Police have a duty to uphold the law, and do not have the legal right to break the law in order to do so. This is particularly important to remember if an officer physically harmed you or violated your constitutional rights in some way.

Building your defense is not something to take lightly or put off until another, more convenient time. Once you receive charges, you have a small window of time to examine the evidence against you and build your defense, and every day that you put it off makes it easier for your prosecutor to secure a conviction. Make sure to protect your rights and freedoms as soon as possible, using the full strength of the law in Texas.

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