Is It Possible to Defend Against a Failed DUI Breath Test?

Being under the influence of drugs and alcohol often inhibits your ability to make sound decisions. That is how many DUI cases begin: with people believing they can drive under the influence. A DUI is a serious accusation to face — and more often than not will require a DUI attorney. 

If you’re accused of driving under the influence, the police likely stopped you and made you take a breathalyzer test. Breathalyzer tests are evidence used in DUI cases, but they aren’t always accurate. If your lawyer can prove the results are incorrect, the state may dismiss your charges. 

What is a Breathalyzer Test?

A breathalyzer test measures someone’s BAC, or blood alcohol level. When you’re pulled over for being suspected of driving under the influence, police may have you breathe into the breathalyzer to assess your BAC.

There are many models of breathalyzers, and they aren’t always accurate. Any breathalyzer test has room for error, so checking for accuracy is important and can mean the difference between facing criminal charges and proving your innocence.

Is it Illegal to Fail a Breathalyzer Test?

When the state charges you with a DUI, it is typically because you failed a breathalyzer test. “Failing” a breathalyzer test is when the results show your blood alcohol content is higher than .08, which is the legal limit in Florida. Any BAC over .08 can result in DUI arrests.

If you drive under the influence and cause bodily harm or death to another person, it’s an automatic felony. Similarly, the severity of a DUI offense increases if you have previous offenses.

How Can You Defend Against a Failed Breathalyzer Test?

Defending against a failed breathalyzer test and fighting your DUI charge is possible. If you can prove an inaccurate breathalyzer test, you could be eligible for reduced charges.

While the state of Florida relies on breathalyzer tests for accurate BAC results, all technology has the ability to malfunction. Breathalyzer tests aren’t always accurate. This becomes a problem when someone is wrongfully accused of driving under the influence — a serious offense that can significantly change someone’s life. 

Breathalyzer tests may have inaccurate results due to:

  • A software error
  • A police officer administering the test incorrectly
  • A chemical contamination 

Some products like cough medicine and mouthwash have an alcohol content that could push you over the edge of the legal limit if the breathalyzer detects it. 

To ensure your breathalyzer test is accurate, call a DUI attorney to devise a defense strategy. 

What Penalties Will I Face for a DUI?

In the state of Florida, a first-offense DUI is a misdemeanor. For a first offense, you can serve up to six months in jail and a fine of $500 to $1,000. 

A second offense is also a misdemeanor, and you could face up to nine months in jail time and owe $1,000 to $2,000 in fines. A third offense within 10 years of your first offense is a third-degree felony, as is a fourth or any offense afterward.

However, if your BAC is at .15 or higher, it is automatically an enhanced DUI. This changes the severity of the DUI charges you face, regardless of whether it is a first offense or not.

Facing a DUI Charge? Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney in Florida

If you failed a breathalyzer test, there are ways an attorney can defend you and protect your rights. Contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible if you’re facing criminal charges. 

If you’re facing a DUI charge in Florida, contact attorney Michael White. Call (954) 270-0769 for a free consultation today in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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After several years as a prosecutor and General Counsel for the Broward County Police Benevolence Association (PBA), Michael White started his own practice focused on protecting individuals accused of crimes.

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