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Breathalyzer and field sobriety tests are not always accurate

Posted by William Walraven | Dec 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

Suppose your breathalyzer test results indicated that you are well above the legal limit, or you performed miserably on the field sobriety tests administered by the police. You'll definitely be arrested, but there's still no guarantee that the police will make their case against you. This is because the results of these sobriety tests are not always accurate.

Given that they may form part of the evidence to prove that you were drunk behind the wheel, you need to know that you can dispute their accuracy as part of your defense strategy. Here is more on what you need to know.

What can lead to inaccurate results?

Faulty or wrongly calibrated breathalyzers can give false results. In addition, you may be on medication that could register as alcohol in the breathalyzer test or have preexisting conditions that could affect your results. All these can give rise to erroneous results unrelated to your blood-alcohol concentration.

Field sobriety tests, too, can be wrongly administered, leading to incorrect conclusions about your sobriety.  Additionally, external factors like the weather or a disability you might have could influence the outcome of these field tests.

What does this mean for you?

An inaccurate result from either your breathalyzer or field sobriety test means there is no clear proof that you were driving under the influence. Remember, a DUI is a criminal offense where the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If they only rely on these tests, which you successfully invalidate, then it means that there is no hard evidence to pin you down.

Your charges are likely to be dropped or dismissed entirely without sufficient evidence. However, it is not as straightforward as it sounds, and if you are thinking of going against your DUI charges, you need to explore other aspects of your case, not just the accuracy of these sobriety tests.

About the Author

William Walraven

Education Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, California Juris Doctor - 2008 University of California at Los Angeles B.A. - 2000 Major: Psychology Past Positions McGrane LLP, Associate Attorney Trepel, Greenfield, Sullivan and Draa LLP, Associate Attor...


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