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How to Win a DUI Case Even With a Failed Breath Test

Posted by Ken Barrett | Nov 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

Use these five tips to steer clear of a drunk driving arrest this Thanksgiving.

If you were pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), and ultimately failed a breath test, you may not be feeling too great about your chances to win in the courtroom. Many people mistakenly believe that failing a breathalyzer test is enough to be convicted of a DUI. However, it's important that you do not get discouraged because it is possible to win a DUI case even with a failed breathalyzer test.

What many people fail to realize is, the breathalyzer test does not always provide the best evidence in court. There are actually many ways to fight a DUI conviction that could ultimately help you win your case. We will discuss these strategies in this article.

An experienced DUI lawyer will be knowledgeable on the DUI laws in your state and will know the best defensive strategies to get a favorable result in the courtroom. Keep reading to find out what you need to know regarding the flaws of breathalyzer tests and winning a DUI case even with a failed breath test. 

Flaws of the Breathalyzer Machine

It may come as a surprise to many people, but the breathalyzer test you submit to during a DUI stop does not provide the most reliable results. It does not give the arresting officer unbeatable evidence in the courtroom. Why? The breathalyzer machine actually has quite a few flaws of its own. As a result, the breathalyzer could provide a false reading which could wrongly convict you of a DUI if you did not have an attorney who knew how to fight the charges.

There are a variety of things that can actually trigger a high blood alcohol content (BAC) reading when taking a breathalyzer test. For instance, someone who has diabetes or acid reflux could actually prompt a falsely high reading. Certain diets and even mouthwash that contains alcohol can potentially skew the results a breathalyzer provides. These are just a few of the reasons why it cannot be fully reliable. You need an attorney to look at all of these circumstances when creating a defense for your case.

If a breathalyzer machine was not properly maintained according to the DUI laws for testing policies, it can also provide an arresting officer with a BAC level that is inaccurate. These machines must be calibrated correctly and should only be administered by someone who is registered to do so. If a breathalyzer machine is not maintained, it is unlikely to provide a correct reading for your BAC level.

Strategies for Winning a DUI Case

The first thing you must do if you want to win your DUI case is to hire an experienced DUI attorney to help you. To simply accept the charges you are facing or to try and handle the case on your own would be a mistake. You need an attorney by your side who has gotten results in the courtroom and can guide you along the way.

When you do choose an attorney to work with, make sure you share all the details surrounding the incident with him or her. It's important that your attorney knows all the information necessary to build a strong defensive strategy for your case. Let your attorney know what happened during the DUI stop, if you have any conditions you think could have skewed the breathalyzer results, and anything else that's pertinent to the case. Your attorney will then be able to conduct an investigation that could possibly help you win your case when you go to court.

Next, your attorney will need to prepare for court. There are a variety of strategies an attorney can use to get a winning outcome in your court case. The strategy your attorney uses will largely depend on the details of your case. One of those strategies may involve criticizing the conduct of the arresting officer. Police officers have specific protocol they have to follow in DUI traffic stops. They need to have a legitimate reason for pulling you over in the first place. And they also need to obey protocol when it comes to field sobriety tests, and breathalyzer tests. If the officer broke protocol at any time during the incident, it can provide a favorable result in court.

Because of the flaws with the breathalyzer machine, your attorney can also request an inspection of the breathalyzer machine used during your DUI arrest. It's important to make sure the machine was up-to-date and calibrated properly according to the DUI laws for testing policies. Your attorney will also need to find out if the officer who administered the breathalyzer test was able to do so since the machines can only be operated by a registered officer. It's also possible the breathalyzer machine was not working properly for other reasons. Any one of these circumstances could prevent an accurate reading in your blood alcohol content level and could potentially result in your case being thrown out.

In some cases, a health or medical issue could have impacted the reading for your breathalyzer test by giving a falsely high result. Because the officer who administered the test would likely not know about any pre-existing health conditions, it is something worth bringing up in court. Be sure to tell your attorney if you have a health concern you feel could have impact your breath test results.

Many people don't know there is also a 15-minute observation rule in place, which requires officers to observe a DUI suspect for 15 minutes prior to giving the breathalyzer test. If an officer fails to do this, the breathalyzer results may not be valid in court.

Seek Help From an Attorney Today

If you or someone you know is facing a DUI conviction, it's important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you get an attorney involved in your case, the better chance you stand of getting a favorable result in court. You want to hire an attorney who has years of experience in handling DUI cases so you can feel confident heading into the courtroom.

About the Author

Ken Barrett

Attorney Kensley Barrett is a skilled criminal defense lawyer with a proven track record in handling a wide range of cases in Rhode Island. Known for his strong background in trial advocacy and negotiation, Barrett is dedicated to providing personalized and effective representation for his clients. Recognized as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers and with a 10.0 "Superb" rating on Avvo, he consistently achieves successful outcomes, including acquittals, dismissals, and reduced charges.


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Kensley Barrett

Our law firm was founded on the belief that working with us is more than just hiring a lawyer. Working with us will bring you peace of mind and also allow you to continue with your regular life while we attend to your legal matters. Our vast experience means that it allows us to excel in both aggressively representing your interests and generating the best possible result for you.