If you don’t take a breath test, you may contend that you weren’t over the legal limit. Maybe you failed a field sobriety test because you were clumsy. Maybe you were just on cold medication and hadn’t been drinking.
But what if the breath test does show that you’re over the limit to drive? Do you still have any defense options?
There are options
First and foremost, you do have options. Some people assume that the only way forward is to plead guilty since the police have the test on file. This is not always the case. Let’s review just a few potential options, which vary depending on the specifics of your situation.
Option one: It was an illegal step
Police cannot perform random traffic stops and give out breath tests. They need a reason for a stop, and the evidence they find may only be allowed in court if the stop itself was lawful. If you were illegally stopped, you may be able to contest the proceedings and claim that the results of the breath test can’t be used.
Option two: There were problems with the breath test
Maybe the breath test device that was used hadn’t been calibrated in a long time. Who is to say if it is accurate or not? Maybe the device wasn’t one that was approved for use by the police department. If the court is going to count on the results of that test, you need to know that you can count on the device itself.
Option three: The officer made a mistake
Perhaps the officer was not properly trained. Maybe they were trained, but they still made clear errors when administering the test. All of this may call the results into question. Can you trust that they were accurate or were you actually sober when a faulty test came back over the legal limit?
Again, things differ from case to case, so these are not all of your potential options, but they do help show that breath tests aren’t always perfect. As you move forward with your case, be sure you carefully consider every step you take.