Breath tests determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels for individuals suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) in Texas. However, breath test results are not always accurate and can be challenged if certain factors are present.
Testing device calibration
The accuracy of a breath test result depends on the testing device’s accuracy. If the device isn’t calibrated correctly, the results may be incorrect. It is crucial to verify that the device’s most recent calibration was conducted within the appropriate time frame and that it was performed by a qualified technician.
The individual being tested may have a medical condition that affects their ability to provide an accurate breath sample. For example, individuals with acid reflux or diabetes may have higher levels of acetone in their breath, which can cause a false positive result. In such cases, medical documentation can be used to challenge the breath test result.
Foods and beverages
The individual being tested may have consumed certain foods or beverages that can affect the accuracy of the breath test. Mouthwash, breath mints and certain types of food can all contain alcohol and cause a false positive result. If the individual can prove that they consumed any of these substances prior to the test, it can provide the means to challenge a drunk driving charge.
Law enforcement officers administering the breath test may have made errors during the testing process. If the person administering the test doesn’t allow enough time between tests or fails to observe the individual being tested for the required observation period, the test’s accuracy can be called into question.
The individual being tested may have a defense based on rising BAC. If the individual consumes alcohol shortly before driving, their BAC may have been below the legal limit at the time of driving but may rise above the legal limit by the time they are tested. This is a potential defense against a breath test result’s accuracy.
Challenging sobriety test results
Drivers can challenge breath test results if they have grounds to contest the way that the test was conducted or have a condition that may cause their BAC to be higher. Navigating the legal process and understanding the different reasons that can produce a false result can help you build a strong DUI defense.