Did a night out with family, friends or just you end with police charging you with driving under the influence of alcohol? Did that charge come after you failed a breath test? If so, there is some good news for you. It may be possible to fight the breath test results in a Pennsylvania criminal court.
Many people believe breath tests to be extremely accurate. How is it possible to fight the results successfully?
Breath test basics
There are a number of breath test devices on the market today. In Pennsylvania, police often use the Breathalyzer. It is a simple machine that, when a breath sample is submitted to the unit, utilizes chemicals to detect if alcohol is in the sample and then it supplies a blood-alcohol content percentage to the administrator. In many cases, these machines can be accurate with proper use and maintenance.
The problem with breath tests
The problem with breath tests is that these machines are subject to mechanical, chemical and human error. They can break down. They may not be cared for properly. Administrators may not have cleaned or calibrated them between each use. All of these things can result in inaccurate readouts and unwarranted arrests.
On top of potential problems with the unit itself, a number of substances can cause a breath test to return a high BAC readout. Some of them include mouthwashes and medications.
How to fight a breath test
If you are facing a DUI charge based on breath test results, you may fight the results by claiming the following:
- Improper calibration
- Improper maintenance
- Improper administration
- Questionable reliability
Legal counsel will be able to help you decide if any of the above challenges to a breath test may work in your case.
When facing a DUI charge, it can be easy to just give in and take whatever punishment the court deems appropriate in your case. Giving in and giving up is a mistake. Having one or more DUIs on your record can affect both your personal and professional life for years to come. Fighting the charge, or at least seeking a charge reduction or alternative sentencing, is the only thing you can do to protect yourself.
Preparing to fight against criminal charges can be frightening. Thankfully, you do not have to go through this all on your own.