During a traffic stop on suspicion of DUI, the officer may ask you to complete a field sobriety test. This test includes a series of tasks that are difficult to complete when impaired. In addition to field sobriety tests, the officer may ask you to take a breath test. Although you have the right to refuse the breath test, there are consequences for doing so. If you take the test and fail, the officer will place you under arrest for driving under the influence.
That test result does not guarantee a conviction. There are ways to fight a breath test result in court.
When was the test last calibrated?
Breath test equipment requires calibration regularly to ensure accurate readings. If the department is lax on the calibration cycles, this may cause inaccurate results.
Was the officer properly trained?
Proper test administration is essential for accurate results from a portable breath test machine. Officers receive training and periodic refresher courses to ensure that they administer the tests correctly. If there were errors in the way the officer administered the test, it creates doubt about the accuracy of the results. The dashcam video can show any errors made by the officer due to insufficient training.
Are you diabetic?
Another common reason for false readings on a portable breath test is ketones present as a result of poorly controlled blood sugar. If you are diabetic and had high levels of ketones at the time of the traffic stop, medical records could cast doubt on the test results.
The more you understand about the fallibility of breath test results, the easier it is to build a defense.