People treat chemical breath testing like it is the gold standard for impaired driving evidence. The idea that there is a chemical test directly confirming someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of a traffic stop or a car crash makes the prosecution that follows seem straightforward and inevitable.
Some people even plead guilty despite believing that they are innocent because they assume that a conviction is inevitable if they failed a breath test. However, breath tests aren’t always accurate. In fact, they can lead to the arrest and prosecution of innocent people. If you truly believe that your breath test results were inaccurate, that could play a role in your driving under the influence (DUI) defense strategy.
There is plenty of data to support the concerns your concerns about the test
Chemical breath tests rely on generalized chemical science, and the result is that compounds other than alcohol in someone’s breath can cause a false positive. Additionally, if the police department involved has failed to frequently calibrate the testing unit or if the software is out of date, the results that the test produces could be wildly inaccurate.
Issues ranging from poor maintenance practices to the defendant’s recent weight loss efforts or prescription medications could cause a false positive. When a driver knows they had nothing to drink or not nearly enough to fail the test, they may have the basis for their defense strategy. Especially in cases where the only seemingly conclusive evidence against the driver is the breath test, challenging the accuracy of the test could be a viable defense strategy.
You have a right to know the evidence against you
The best way to defend yourself depends on the evidence that the state intends to present in court. Undermining the validity of the breath test results can work for some people, especially if there seem to be gaps in the maintenance records for the testing unit or historical problems with false arrests or acquittals for people arrested for drunk driving by the officer that arrested you. There could be other approaches that may work better in different situations, even if you believe the test was wrong.
Learning more about the laws in Pennsylvania and your rights as a criminal defendant will hope you mount a more effective defense against recent DUI charges.