Breathalyzer tests must meet certain requirements to be considered reliable. This is important because breathalyzer tests can lead to serious drunk driving charges which can result in serious penalties and consequences for accused drivers.
Breathalyzer test requirements
A breathalyzer test may be challenged if it fails to meet certain requirements. Those requirements include:
- The breath test device is on a list of conforming devices;
- The breath test device must be routinely maintained and checked for accuracy at regular and set intervals;
- The police officer administering the test must be trained and certified to administer that particular breath test device;
- The police officer administering the test must do so according to the training they have received;
- The police officer administering the test must ensure the accused driver’s bodily fluids do not interfere with the breath test results; and
- The breath test device must capture at least two measurable readings within .02 of one another.
Defense against breathalyzer test results
As part of a criminal defense strategy, the accused driver may want to challenge that the breath test device they were administered was properly calibrated or maintained. If it is demonstrated that the breath test provided erroneous results, it may be possible to challenge the admissibility of the breath test results which can potentially impact the drunk driving charges against the accused driver.
Penalties and consequences for drunk driving can be severe. It is in the best interests of the accused driver to be familiar with the different options to defend themselves against drunk driving charges which may include challenging a breathalyzer test.