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How Can You Challenge Breathalyzer Results in a DUI Case?

There are penalties for refusing a breathalyzer test after a DUI stop. It is up to the driver whether to take the breathalyzer, but all drivers should understand Arizona’s implied consent laws before deciding whether or not to take a breathalyzer test if stopped for suspicion of drunk driving. However, if you decide to take a breathalyzer after a DUI stop, you do not have to accept the results without a fight. You can hire a Phoenix DUI attorney to challenge the breathalyzer results in a DUI case.

What is Arizona’s Implied Consent Law?

Arizona’s implied consent laws state that individuals consent to “breath, urine, and other bodily substance” tests to determine alcohol concentration by driving in the state. You can refuse a breathalyzer test, but you face penalties for the refusal that are separate from the penalties for a DUI charge. An officer may confiscate your driver’s license if you refuse a breathalyzer test. You receive a temporary 15-day driver’s license to give you time to file the necessary documentation to request a hearing. If you fail to request a hearing within 15 days, you lose your right to drive.

You could lose your driver’s license for a year. If you have other DUI charges on your driver’s license, the suspension could be longer than one year. A breathalyzer test is not required to prove drunk driving. Therefore, you could be convicted of a DUI charge even though you refused the breathalyzer.

Ways to Fight a Breathalyzer Test

There are ways to fight a breathalyzer test if you take the test and the results indicate your BAC is above the legal limit. Some of the ways you can attack the results of the breathalyzer test include:

  • Defective or malfunctioning machines. A breathalyzer device should be regularly checked and maintained to ensure that the machine is operating correctly. For instance, the breathalyzer machine must be calibrated correctly, or it could produce an incorrect reading. A Phoenix DUI attorney can request the maintenance and performance records to determine if the machine may have a flaw that led to an invalid result.
  • Medical conditions can cause a false reading. Some medical conditions, including acid reflux and diabetes, can result in a falsely high reading. In some cases, something as simple as mouthwash could produce a false reading. An attorney investigates the circumstances of the reading to determine if another factor could have resulted in a BAC reading above the legal limits.
  • Officers may not be adequately trained to administer the breathalyzer. An officer should be trained and certified to operate a breathalyzer. Officers must also follow the exact procedures for performing a breathalyzer test. If the officer does not have adequate training or did not follow the procedure and rules for administering the breathalyzer, you can challenge the breathalyzer results in court.

Hiring a Phoenix DUI Attorney to Challenge Breathalyzer Results

Failing a breathalyzer test does not necessarily result in a DUI conviction. Before agreeing to a guilty plea, it may be wise to consult a Phoenix DUI attorney to discuss potential defenses to the DUI charge and breathalyzer results.

Contact the experienced DUI defense attorneys at Blischak Law today to discuss your legal rights and your options for defending yourself against DUI charges.

Posted in: Drunk Driving