You’d been drinking, got pulled over and submitted to a breath test, which confirmed that you were driving while under the influence. How do you go about challenging the breath test? Is there any way that can be done?
In actuality, there are a number of requirements associated with breath tests. In addition, a good defense attorney may be able to show that the equipment used was not properly calibrated, maintained or repaired. Here are just some of the steps officers have to take to ensure a valid breath test:
- The mouthpiece on the machine must be changed between each breath (not each subject), as blood alcohol readings can be cumulative
- The officers cannot rely on a single reading—there must be at least two readings in excess of the legal limit
- There cannot be any radio devices, cell phones or walkie-talkies in the room where the test is conducted
- The person being tested must be observed for at least 20 minutes prior to the test, to confirm that they did not vomit, regurgitate or even belch, as that can affect the results
- The officer must clearly ask the driver if they’ll take the test—twice—and the driver must clearly say yes—twice
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