You may be surprised to learn that breathalyzer results aren’t always 100 percent accurate or usable in court. A good DWI lawyer will know when and if to question breathalyzer results on these grounds.
How can breathalyzer results be wrong? For one thing, it’s possible that a high BAC level could be the result of a faulty or improperly calibrated device. In some cases, breathalyzer results may be omitted from consideration by the court if the prosecution cannot prove that the investigating officer had probable cause to administer a test in the first place.
Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
Not if you want to keep your driver’s license and avoid penalties. Under Louisiana law, anyone operating a vehicle on the streets or highways has given implied consent for a blood, urine, or breathalyzer test. Therefore, refusing a breathalyzer test after being suspected of driving under the influence could result in additional charges or penalties. The best advice is usually to take the test and, if charges follow, find good legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected.
A breathalyzer estimates blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC, by measuring the amount of alcohol in a suspect’s breath. Like almost any other measuring device, breathalyzers need to be calibrated from time to time. Evidence that a damaged device could give a false-positive reading can seriously weaken the prosecution’s case.