Police officers who pull someone over on suspicion of impaired driving or who respond to crashes often look for any sign of intoxication. What someone says when interacting with police officers can add to the case against them.
If someone admits to drinking or seems under the influence, officers can have them exit their vehicle for field sobriety tests. The outcome of those results may allow an officer to request chemical breath testing. If the results are positive, an OWI arrest could be made. When can a defendant accused of impaired driving successfully raise questions about a chemical breath test?
1. When they have health issues
There are numerous medical concerns that could potentially impact the accuracy of chemical breath testing. Health issues like type 2 diabetes could affect the accuracy of test results. A medication that someone has recently taken or a specialty diet that they follow could also result in a false positive on a chemical breath test.
If a defendant has a diagnosis for a condition that may cause a false positive or a prescription for a medication that could trick a breath test, their health history could play a role in their defense strategy.
2. When there are accuracy questions
Perhaps the driver accused of intoxication does not have any health issues and therefore feels truly perplexed about the breath test results. The truth is that there are many reasons why breath test devices return false positive results.
Sometimes, it can be a mistake on the part of the police department. Failing to calibrate the device or install software updates might mean that results are not accurate. When someone is adamant about their sobriety and the fact that the test could not have been right, they may need to explore the concerns about the accuracy of breath testing as part of their defense strategy.
Some people can and successfully do challenge breath test results to avoid drunk driving convictions. Others may have to look at different defense strategies, such as challenging the validity of their traffic stop. Discussing different impaired driving defense strategies with a legal professional can help someone arrive at the best options for their particular circumstances.