Is it possible to challenge breathalyzer results?

Is it possible to challenge breathalyzer results?

| Feb 5, 2021 | Drunk Driving |

If the state of Maryland is charging you with a DUI, it is probable that breathalyzer results are a key part of the evidence against you. The good news is that it is possible to challenge breathalyzer results in the same way that it is possible to challenge the results from a radar gun if the police give you a speeding ticket. 

There are two main ways to mount a challenge against breathalyzer results. The first way is to challenge the functionality of the machine itself, and the second way is to challenge the credentials the police officer had at the time he or she performed the breathalyzer test. 

What could be wrong with the machine?

Breathalyzers are machines, and all machines have the possibility to be faulty. For example, in one Iowa court case, the defendant, when present in court, was able to blow a “high” reading on the breathalyzer. The man was completely sober. In this case, the courts immediately threw out the results of the breathalyzer test because the machines the state was using were faulty. 

In order for breathalyzer results to be reliable, the officer administering the breathalyzer test must properly calibrate the machine. If the police officer using the breathalyzer machine did not do this, the courts will throw out the results on account of them potentially being faulty. 

What could be wrong with the police officer?

The police officer who conducted your breathalyzer test must be properly trained on the use of the breathalyzer machine. If the police cannot provide testimony proving that the officer in question did have this training, then the courts cannot accept the results as evidence.