These days, most drunk driving charges involve a driver failing a Breathalyzer test, which can seem difficult to overcome, even with a strong legal defense. After all, if you got pulled over and blew over the limit into a Breathalyzer, isn’t your case open and shut?
Thankfully, this is not always the case. Breathalyzers are very powerful tools, but they are not infallible, and a creative defense can often find aspects of the results or the arrest interaction to challenge. If you recently received a drunk driving charge in Maryland, you need to begin building your defense as quickly as possible. The state’s drunk driving laws are fairly harsh, and a conviction may lead to serious criminal and civil consequences.
Weaknesses in Breathalyzer results
A Breathalyzer device measures a suspect’s blood alcohol content to hundredth’s of a decimal point, so it is important to scrutinize the reliability of these results. Any variation may mean the difference between being free to go after your interaction with an officer and receiving charges.
It surprises some people to learn that Breathalyzers require calibration and maintenance regularly, or else they return unreliable results that may vary significantly from a suspect’s true level of intoxication.
If your arresting officer used a device that was not properly calibrated or maintained, the results may not hold up in court, and you may have grounds to suppress them. It is also possible that the officer did not operate the device correctly, contributing to unreliable sobriety testing.
Consider the actions of your arresting officer
As mentioned previously, a properly calibrated and maintained device may still produce bad results if used improperly. This is only one way that your arresting officer may strengthen your defense. If your officer assaults you during your interaction, or violates your constitutional rights in some way, you may have grounds to challenge the charges based on these violations.
It is also worth noting that you retain the right to face your accuser in court under the guarantees of the sixth amendment to the Constitution. If the officer who administered the Breathalyzer test does not appear in court, then you may have grounds to challenge the evidence based on this violation of your rights.
There are many ways to protect your rights and defend your future, but the longer you wait to build your defense, the fewer options you have. Don’t wait to use the legal tools and guidance that you have available to keep your rights and privileges secure.