If you are pulled over for a drunk driving investigation, New York’s implied consent law requires that you submit to a chemical test to ascertain your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. This is also known as a breathalyzer test. If you refuse the test, you could face a fine as well as the suspension of your driver’s license for at least 12 months.
Contrary to what most people believe, however, all hope is not lost if you fail the breathalyzer test. You can challenge the breathalyzer result during your trial.
How can you discredit the breathalyzer result?
Whether you can successfully challenge it depends on the circumstances of your case. That said, here are two ways you can potentially discredit the breathalyzer evidence in your DUI case:
Improper equipment calibration
To produce accurate results, the breathalyzer equipment must be properly maintained and regularly calibrated. If you believe the equipment was not properly calibrated at the time of taking the test or if the officer who administered the test cannot provide proof of equipment maintenance, then you may challenge the test result on grounds of faulty equipment.
The stop was unlawful
The police cannot stop you on a whim. They must have valid grounds for stopping you for a DUI search. In other words, they must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Reasonable suspicion can include breaking clear traffic rules like hugging the centreline, driving through the red or driving with your headlights off at night.
Additionally, they must have probable cause that you are drunk driving. This can include evidence of alcohol in your car, slurred speech, or impaired judgment.
If these elements are not satisfied, you can successfully discredit any evidence obtained from you including the breathalyzer test result.
Yes, you can challenge the breathalyzer result
Being charged with drunk driving is a big deal. Knowing your legal options can help you challenge the breathalyzer test result and, potentially, your DUI case.