officer holding breathalyzer in front of woman driver

How You Can Challenge Breathalyzer Test Results

How You Can Challenge Breathalyzer Test Results

Many people believe that once a breath test shows their BAC is over the legal limit, a DWI conviction is imminent. This, however, is not the case. Simply having a breath test show you have a BAC of .08% or higher does not automatically mean you will be convicted. In fact, there are many things that could cause your breath test results to be an inaccurate representation of your blood alcohol content. Let’s go over some of the factors you can use to challenge your breathalyzer test results.

Device Error

Like all machines, breathalyzers require maintenance. If the machine is not properly taken care of or calibrated, it will not function properly. The sensor will not take an accurate reading of the individual’s BAC. It is the responsibility of law enforcement officers to ensure that they properly and regularly calibrate the device prior to use.

Improper Training

Police officers are supposed to go through thorough training for how to administer breath tests. If the police officer did not complete adequate training, or was not certified to conduct a breath test, you can argue that the results are unreliable.

Illegal Search

You may also be able to argue that the breath test was part of an illegal search. If the officer did not have probable cause to stop your vehicle and conduct sobriety tests, you may be able to get the BAC results thrown out.

Examples of probable cause for DWI cases include:

  • If the vehicle wasn’t staying within its lane
  • Swerving
  • Sudden acceleration or braking

Medical Conditions

Did you know that some medical conditions can affect the accuracy of breath test results? For example, acid reflux can cause BAC scores to be higher than what is accurate. This is because the reflux sends stomach contents back up into the esophagus, which causes previously consumed alcohol to move closer to the mouth. That higher presence of alcohol will be reflected in an inaccurate BAC result.

Other conditions that can affect BAC include:

  • Diabetes
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Heartburn
  • Gut fermentation syndrome

Austin DWI Attorneys

If you took a breath test and your results showed you were above the legal limit, don’t lose hope. At Smith & Vinson Law Firm, we have helped numerous individuals facing complicated DWI charges, and we can help you too. Call us today at (512) 359-3743 to get started on your defense with our Austin criminal defense attorneys.