Challenging the Results of Breath Tests
When a person is pulled over for suspected driving while intoxicated (DWI), the police use a few different methods of measuring sobriety or impairment, including field sobriety testing and breath tests, or breathalyzers. At Joseph Kelly Levasseur, Esquire, I help my clients challenge the results of breathalyzer testing and protect their rights and futures in every stage of the legal process.
Breath Tests Used to Determine Impairment
The police in New Hampshire use two different types of breath tests: a roadside test and a full test that is performed at the police station. The portable roadside test may not produce accurate results, since it can’t distinguish between lung alcohol and breath alcohol. There is also a wide margin of error for these tests. If you refuse testing with the portable breathalyzer, you will most likely be brought to the station for the full test.
Testing at the police station is a more accurate measure of blood alcohol content (BAC) than the portable units carried in police cars. The person administering the full test should be certified for breath testing. If you refuse this test, you could be facing further penalties, including a longer driver’s license suspension in addition to the length of the suspension for your DWI charge.
Issues That Impact Breath Test Results
There is controversy surrounding the use of breath tests. Several factors can influence the results of breath testing. One of these is body temperature. The machine has an automatic setting for body temperature. However, not everyone has the same body temperature, and this can affect the results of the testing.
Other factors that can influence the results include:
- Variations in breathing patterns
- The length and strength of the breath when blowing into the machine
- How the test is administered
- When the test is performed, such as immediately or an hour later
A knowledgeable Manchester breath test defense lawyer knows the problems associated with breathalyzer testing and the factors that may influence the outcome of the test. Depending on the specifics of your situation, these factors can be used to build a strong defense for you, and it may be possible to exclude the results of the test from evidence.
Reasons For Challenging the Results
An incorrect reading on a breath test can be invalided through independent testing and witness testimony. Other possible challenges include a test that was performed by someone who is not certified or with a history of incorrectly administering breath tests, which can lead to a determination that the results are not admissible. When there is sufficient evidence to create reasonable doubt about the results, it may be possible to secure an acquittal of the charges.
I investigate the circumstances of the traffic stop, the type of testing that was performed, factors that could have influenced the results and other evidence to develop the most effective strategy for defending every client. If there are any issues regarding your breath test results, I will file a motion to suppress the evidence and help you get your entire case dismissed.