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What are some common ways to challenge a breath test?

One of the last situations a Pennsylvania resident wants to be in is being pulled over by a police officer on suspicion of DUI. If the officer asks you to submit to a breath test, you can refuse, but in many cases, it’s better to agree to take it. There are common ways to challenge the results later.

Only one test was administered

Police must perform multiple breath tests to ensure that the device is working properly and the results are accurate. In a case involving driving under the influence, if only one test was done, you can use that fact to challenge the results. A single administration of a Breathalyzer is unacceptable and might get the charges against you thrown out of court.

No reasonable suspicion to stop you

Before a police officer can make you pull over and request that you take a breath test, they must have reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed. This means there must have been a legitimate reason to make you stop your vehicle. For example, your license plate was half hanging, your headlights were off after dark or you ran through a stop sign. Without the requisite reasonable suspicion, making you submit to a breath test is illegal and you can challenge the results in court.

The machine was not calibrated

If an officer believes you are guilty of drunk driving and administers a breath test, the machine must be properly calibrated. Otherwise, it can malfunction and provide inaccurate results that you have the right to dispute. This commonly occurs in DUI cases and could work to your advantage.

You were not under the influence

You can also challenge the results of a Breathalyzer if you were not actually under the influence of alcohol. Some other substances contain traces of alcohol, which can result in a false reading on the device. Certain medications and even mouthwash or breath fresheners often contain small amounts of alcohol and can show a blood alcohol concentration reading.