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Photo of Craig R. Fishman
Photo of Craig R. Fishman

Tried And True Attorneys Standing Up For The Injured Since 1965

DUI defense can begin with breathalyzer test results

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2020 | DWI/DUI Defense |

When you face a DUI charge it can be hard to accept the penalties that come along with it — including fines, jail time and license suspension. But finding an appropriate defense can help lessen the harsh reality of a criminal conviction.

Many DUI offenders choose to fight penalties by proving inaccuracies in breathalyzer tests. Having a legal expert help build your defense can strengthen your case and considering the flaws that happen during these tests can help you prepare for your court date.

False readings

There are both manufacturer and user errors that can impact breath test results. In fact, the New Jersey Supreme Court has acknowledged that the software used in breathalyzer machines are full of technical problems. On top of built-in programming issues, there is calibration that needs to take place before using a breathalyzer machine for the first time. So, if the police officer administering it might not be personally responsible for this calibration, but they could ultimately arrest you based on a false reading.

The person taking the test might not actually be as drunk as the test reveals. This can happen due to state of their health or activities they partake in prior to the test. For instance, people with diabetes can have high levels of acetone in their body. While the acetone naturally occurs, it works against diabetics when a breathalyzer detects acetone as alcohol. Similarly, someone painting with a product that contains acetone can wind up blowing above the legal limit if they paint long enough or inhale a certain amount of the chemical. Additionally, higher-than-average body temperature, recent engagement in physical activity and hyperventilation can cause a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading to be wrong.

DUI defense

Since your BAC level serves as evidence against you, it’s essential that you think of possible reasons that you blew at or above the legal limit. Maybe you suffer a health condition that causes chemicals to appear in your breath or maybe you were scared during the traffic stop and this caused irregular breathing. It’s also likely you had nothing to do with the false reading. So, if you were certain you were sober before the police had you pull over and take a breath test, then think about who might be able to vouch for you in court.