In Georgia, it is illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while their BAC level is 0.08% or greater. To prove that an individual is driving under influence (DUI), law enforcement officers will often administer a Breathalyzer test to ascertain the alcohol level in the suspect’s system. If your Breathalyzer test result is 0.08% or greater, you will be charged with DUI under Georgia drunk driving laws.
However, a charge is not the same as a conviction. Under the law, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Thus, as part of your defense strategy, you can challenge the results of the Breathalyzer test that set the ball rolling for your prosecution in the first place.
Here are three defense strategies you can use to challenge the Breathalyzer result.
Certain conditions such as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) or extremely high ketone levels can skew your Breathalyzer test results. If you had any of these conditions at the time of taking the test, you may challenge the validity of your BAC reading on medical grounds.
On the same note, certain prescription medications can also skew your test result. Examples of medications that can distort your BAC result include:
- Asthma medications
- Pain relievers
- Cough syrups, Nyquil and other over the counter medications
- Oral health medications
Poorly maintained device
In order to provide accurate BAC readings, the Breathalyzer device must be subjected to routine maintenance, calibration and testing. If the device is not properly calibrated for your test, or if there are no records to indicate that it was properly maintained and calibrated, you may have strong grounds for challenging the credibility of your Breathalyzer test result.
Even if the device of properly maintained and calibrated, it can still register inaccurate results if the test is not administered properly. And this calls for the test administering officer to have proper test administration skills.
The Breathalyzer is one of the most common tools for determining an individual’s blood-alcohol level. However, it is not unusual for the device to give skewed results. With so much on the line, understanding potential loopholes in the device’s functionality can help you mount a credible defense and win your DUI case.