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Is It Possible to Challenge a Breathalyzer Test?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving

A large number of DWI cases rely on Breathalyzer test results as evidence of intoxication. However, it is possible to challenge Breathalyzer results in a Woodlands, TX, drunk driving case on multiple grounds.

Was the Breathalyzer calibrated before the test?

If the officer using the Breathalyzer does not properly calibrate the device before measuring the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of a suspected drunk driver, then the device can give wildly inaccurate results. In fact, formal studies of drunk driving cases have shown that even properly calibrated Breathalyzer devices frequently give erroneous readings a significant percentage of the time.

The onus falls on the officer who conducted the test to prove that they accurately calibrated the Breathalyzer beforehand. If they are not able to prove this, then it’s possible to have the test reading disregarded.

Was it legal for the officer to issue the Breathalyzer test?

An officer issuing a Breathalyzer test must be able to establish probable cause for suspecting that a driver is intoxicated. According to Texas DWI laws, the officer must also be able to establish reasonable suspicion for making a traffic stop to begin with. Grounds for reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop include:

– Violating one or more traffic laws

– Erratic driving

After the stop takes place, a combination of the following behaviors can qualify as probable cause for suspected DWI:

– Speaking with belligerence and slurred words

– Failing to follow directions on a basic mobility test

– Smelling like alcohol

If the officer is not able to establish that the traffic stop which led to the Breathalyzer was legal, it may be possible to challenge the Breathalyzer reading on that basis too.

Are you facing a DWI case in Woodlands, Texas?

If you have recently been arrested for driving while intoxicated in Texas, then facing a potential court case can be daunting. However, there are often ways to contest the evidence presented against you.