During a suspected DUI stop, an officer may choose to administer a breathalyzer test. If a driver fails this test, then he or she is usually arrested and charged. For many drivers, the breathalyzer results themselves may seem like “bulletproof” evidence of their guilt, but this is not always the case.
While it is not easy to challenge breathalyzer results, it is possible, depending on the circumstances of the traffic stop. If you received DUI charges after failing a breathalyzer test, it is worth your time to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney who understands the nuances of Hawaii DUI laws and defending suspects against these charges.
An attorney can help you examine your experience during the stop to identify any weaknesses in the evidence against you or actions on the part of the arresting officer that may invalidate the charges altogether. Until you consider all the options you have, it is very difficult to build a defense that you deserve.
Breathalyzers are fallible devices
Although movies and television often portray breathalyzers as devices that operate flawlessly every time, this is not reality. Just like any other measurement device, a breathalyzer may malfunction and is subject to operator error if the officer administering the test does not operate the device properly.
A breathalyzer device may produce unreliable results several ways. If the device is not properly calibrated to produce precise, accurate readings, the results may suffer. Similarly, if the device is not maintained properly, it may malfunction without the officer or the suspect realizing it.
Even in ideal circumstances, breathalyzer results have a margin of error that some courts or juries do not find acceptable. Some very motivated defendants attempt to contest the results based on this margin of error alone, or use it as part of a larger defense strategy. Some jurisdictions in other parts of the country may not even recognize breathalyzer results as a sufficiently reliable basis for conviction in all cases.
Other ways to challenge your DUI charges
Let’s assume that you failed the breathalyzer test and have no discernible grounds to challenge the results. If the officer who arrested you violated your rights during the arrest or during the stop prior to the arrest, you may have grounds to challenge the charges because of these violations.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney who will take time to explain your rights and assess the interaction with your arresting officer. With proper legal counsel, you can rest assured that your rights and priorities remain protected while you fight for your freedom and driving privileges.