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Challenging breath test results

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2022 | Uncategorized

After being stopped for the suspicion of driving under the influence in Rhode Island, you might be asked to take a breath test. While a Breathalyzer is usually accurate, there are a few defenses that could be used to challenge the results when you go to court.

Probable cause

A common challenge to breath test results after an officer stops you for a DUI is a lack of probable cause to believe that you were intoxicated. If there was no reasonable suspicion for the officer to stop your vehicle, then there would have been no reason for you to submit to a breath test. You can’t be stopped while you’re driving just because an officer wants to randomly stop your vehicle. Evidence obtained during a traffic stop if there was no probable cause at the time could be dismissed, including breath test results.

Procedures while testing

There are certain practices that should be performed while the breath test is being conducted. If these practices are not followed, then you could challenge the results. One of the details to keep in mind is that the officer who performs the test needs to be certified before using the equipment to ensure that the Breathalyzer is calibrated properly and that it’s used in the correct manner with each person the officer stops. There should be two samples taken that are the same size. A clean mouthpiece should be used each time with the equipment as well.

Issues with timing

Since your blood alcohol level can rise for a few hours after your last drink, an officer should perform a breath test within at least two hours after the last time that you were driving as the alcohol level in your body might be higher when you get home than it was while you were on the road.

If you believe that you were wrongly given a breath test or the results might not be correct, you could challenge the charges and possibly have them dismissed.