A police officer pulls you over and asks you to get out of the car. You fail a field sobriety test, so the officer gives you a breath test. It comes back with a positive reading, and you get arrested for driving under the influence.
It may be very natural to assume that you’re going to be convicted. After all, the police officer has the results of the breast test. But this is actually a dangerous assumption to make. A conviction is never guaranteed, and there are many reasons that a breath test could actually be wrong.
When was it calibrated?
For example, breath tests need to be calibrated. Police officers will sometimes neglect these devices or fail to calibrate them on schedule. Essentially, it’s impossible to know if the results are accurate if the officer doesn’t even know that the test is working properly.
The officer made a mistake
It’s also possible for an officer to commit an error while administering a breath test. Were they properly trained? How much experience did they have? Could they have made an error that you don’t even know about that could call the results of the test into question?
There were outside influences
Another thing to keep in mind is if anything else influenced the test. For example, a police officer is not supposed to let someone burp while taking a breath test, as that can artificially skew the results to be too high. Even something like using mouthwash before taking the test can give it a false positive reading.
Breath tests certainly could be wrong, and it’s important for anyone who is facing charges to understand their legal defense options.