Police in Texas often use breath tests to determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol. If a breath test comes up positive, the driver will likely be arrested for a DUI. However, evidence from breath tests can still be disputed in court.
If you were charged for drunk driving after taking a breath test, you don’t necessarily have to plead guilty. Here are three criminal defense strategies to challenge a breath test:
#1: The test was poorly administered
Police officers must be properly trained on using breath tests before they can administer them. If a person charged with DUI can prove that the officer who issued the test lacked training, the test results may be inadmissible in court. The test results may also be thrown out if the testing instrument was not calibrated correctly.
#2: The test itself is unreliable
Some DUI defendants have successfully argued that the breath test itself is unreliable. All breath test devices have a margin of error, and some devices are less reliable than others. If you failed a breath test, you may want to look into the specific brand of test that was used at your traffic stop.
#3: Challenging the traffic stop itself
If you were pulled over without the requisite reasonable suspicion, evidence from the traffic stop may be inadmissible in court. That’s because the entire traffic stop would be illegal if the arresting officer had no reason to pull you over in the first place. This type of defense can be used regardless of whether or not the test was reliable.
There are many other ways to dispute a positive breath test and other evidence of DUI. If you have acid reflux or you had just recently used mouthwash, these things can sometimes cause a breath test to display a false positive. You may also argue that you failed a field sobriety test due to a physical disability or a mental issue. If you refused to take a breath test, you can still argue that you are not guilty of DUI.