If you recently failed a Breathalyzer test and now face drunk driving charges, you might feel as though you don't have any options for defending yourself. This feeling is understandable, but you may have more opportunities to challenge the results than you expect.
Even if you don't think you have grounds for a strong defense, you should look at all the evidence and scrutinize it for any weakness. Building a defense is almost always more effective at protecting your rights and future privileges than building no defense at all and simply accepting a sentence or hoping for a plea deal. Your future is worth all the time and effort you spend to keep it secure.
Are Breathalyzers reliable?
Breathalyzers can produce fairly accurate results, but even a properly calibrated device still has a small margin of error. In some cases, if an officer charges a suspect with intoxication for barely blowing over the legal limit, the charges may not hold up in court because of this margin.
However, if a device does not receive ongoing maintenance and calibration, it may produce surprisingly inaccurate results. If you have any reasons to suspect that the officer who conducted your traffic stop used a poorly calibrated Breathalyzer, then you should consider challenging the results.
It is also possible that the officer did not properly administer the test. Operator error is rare when it comes to Breathalyzers, but it is still possible, and may play a part in your charges.
Were your rights violated during the traffic stop?
Police officers have an important duty to the community, to keep it safe and to uphold the law. Unfortunately, some officers believe that their ends justify their means, and may break the law during the course of an interaction with a suspect.
If your arresting officer broke the law or violated your rights during your interaction, this is a serious matter. At the very least, you may see your charges dismissed. If the violation was severe, you may need to pursue further legal action to seek justice.
Your rights are not something to take lightly, and the sooner that you begin building your defense, the more tools you have to keep your rights secure. With a clear understanding of the evidence against you and a careful examination of the facts of your arrest, you can build a strong defense that keeps your rights safe and protects you from harsh, unfair sentencing.