A failed breath test during an impaired driving traffic stop can seem like irrefutable evidence that someone is guilty. Even if you know you didn’t have too much to drink, you might find yourself second-guessing your own memories of the evening before your arrest if you fail a test.
Too many people believe that they don’t have any chance of defending against impaired driving charges if there was a chemical breath test performed before their arrest. However, there are three strategies that might help you defend yourself.
Challenge the accuracy of the test results
You know you didn’t have too much to drink, but the test seems to say otherwise. Despite people viewing chemical breath testing as a perfected science, there is a huge margin for error. Chemical breath testing units are not as reliable as people think.
Failing to calibrate the unit or download a software update might mean that the device does not return accurate results anymore. Looking at the unit’s history and the record for the officer who performed the test can help you determine if these kinds of mistakes might have led to your arrest.
Provide an alternate explanation for the failed test
Perhaps the issue was not with the testing unit but rather with the presumption that you were under the influence. The breath test tool detects compounds other than alcohol.
Following a keto diet could mean failing a breath test. Using an asthma inhaler could make you fail a test too. If you can explain with a medical reason or with a legal prescription drug why you failed the test, that could help your defense.
Challenge the traffic stop itself
Perhaps there is no explanation and no clear evidence of an issue with the testing unit. However, the officer did not have any real grounds for pulling you over. You didn’t break any traffic laws or drive in a way that indicated chemical impairment. If the officer pulled you over because of racial profiling or another violation of your rights, that could affect the charges against you.
Looking at all your options for defense with an experienced attorney can make it easier to prevent the worst consequences of impaired driving charges.