Your DUI Pro
Weekends & Evening Appointments Available 24 Hours

Free Consultation 701-746-4107

Toll Free 877-387-3524

Why failing a breath test may not lead to a conviction

As you make your way home, police officers stop your car. They clearly suspect you of driving while intoxicated, and eventually, they ask you to take a breath test. It shows a blood alcohol content of over 0.08 percent. Now what?

At this point, many people are ready to give up. After all, how can you argue with an objective chemical test? However, there are many reasons why breath test results may not be as bulletproof as people think.

The breath testing device is not working

In some cases, the breath testing device may not be functioning in a way that yields accurate results. Whether due to faulty software, defective parts or inadequate design, devices can fail, just like any other machine. This issue especially tends to arise when police departments use older models whose performance may degrade over time.

The officer did not operate the device properly

Even a properly functioning device need the right maintenance to keep running. Breath test device manufacturers provide instructions for regular calibration and maintenance that are necessary for accurate results. Especially when it comes to portable field units, officers may not always follow the prescribed routine. For example, neglecting to change the mouthpiece between stops can result in artificially higher readings.

Another substance affected the reading

Breath test devices work by measuring the alcohol percentage in the air you exhale from your lungs. Using a specific formula, it uses this percentage to extrapolate the BAC. There may exist several factors that could skew this ration.

If you retain alcohol in your mouth, you can get a reading that shows a high BAC, even though the alcohol is coming from right inside your mouth, not from air that has absorbed alcohol from your bloodstream. People with bridges and other types of dental work can retain small pockets of alcohol after a small drink that would normally not cause an elevated BAC.

Substances such as acetone can read as alcohol. If your clothing has acetone on it due to your work, this can happen to you. Some breath test devices also do not distinguish alcohol from ketones, which can be present due to diabetes or some low-carb diets.

The stop was not legal

Finally, if the police officers did not conduct the test based on a legal stop, the prosecution may not be able to use it as evidence. Officers making a DUI stop must have proper cause to believe you are committing or have just committed a crime. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Need Answers Now? Contact Us Immediately.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Contact Information

Grand Forks Office
215 A South 4th Street
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Phone: 701-746-4107
Fax: 218-793-0013
Grand Forks Law Office Map

East Grand Forks Office
712 Demers Avenue
East Grand Forks, MN 56721

Toll Free: 877-387-3524
Phone: 701-746-4107
Phone: 218-773-6934
Fax: 218-793-0013
East Grand Forks Law Office Map

Minot Office
201 South Main Street, Suite 200
Minot, ND 58701

Phone: 701-746-4107
Fax: 218-793-0013
Minot Law Office Map

DUSEK LAW MOBILE VIEW IMAGE DUSEK LAW MOBILE VIEW IMAGE2

Dusek Law Mobile App

Install the mobile application on your smart phone today!

  • National College for DUI Defense | MCMXCV | GENERAL MEMBER
  • Premier DUI - American Association Attorneys
  • NACDL - National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • state Bar Association of North Dakota
  • Minnesota state Bar Association

Method of Payment

VISA , Master Card , Discover Network