When an officer stops a person's vehicle and suspects that he or she may be driving under the influence, that officer will likely conduct various tests to determine whether his or her suspicions may prove correct. This gathering of evidence may provide an officer with probable cause to take you or another driver into custody on charges of DUI.
While facing such allegations may be stressful, many elements could work in your favor when it comes to defending against the charges. For instance, the arresting officer may not have had reasonable suspicion to stop your car or probable cause to make the arrest. Additionally, if he or she did not conduct any field-testing correctly, that evidence may not hold up in court. One particular test that often comes under scrutiny during these cases is the breath test.
Though officers often conduct breath tests as a means to measure blood alcohol concentration levels, the accuracy of those tests are questionable. In fact, these machines may pick up on several other substances in your body that have nothing to do with alcoholic beverages, but that can cause a Breathalyzer or other testing machine to show a high BAC level.
More specifically, breath test machines pick up on the ethanol from alcohol in your body in attempts to read BAC. However, they can also pick up on any other substance that also falls into the methyl group when it comes to molecular structure. Additionally, if you still have alcohol in your mouth or have recently vomited, the test results can lose even more accuracy.
If a person eats bread, is exposed to various chemicals or has diabetes, the results of a breath test may also show alcohol in his or her system, even if no alcoholic beverages have been consumed.
Breath test machines can also be affected by certain environmental factors. Therefore, if they do not receive proper calibration, they may not give accurate results. Air temperature could affect readings, and your body temperature could also have an impact, especially if your temperature is above normal.
Breath test results often face challenges in court due to their inaccuracy. Therefore, you may also want to consider using this aspect as part of your criminal defense if you face DUI charges. Additional information on other defense strategies could also help you create a meaningful presentation.