If you have been pulled over for suspected drunk driving in Virginia Beach
and the officer administered a breathalyzer, which you failed, you are
likely wondering if your test failure will ultimately lead to you being
convicted of DUI. While a breathalyzer failure will not help you in the
slightest, rest assured that it in no way guarantees your conviction.
Though the prosecution may lead you to believe that a guilty plea is your
only option, in reality, there are several ways that breathalyzer test
results may be challenged. While the applicability of these strategies
will vary depending on the specifics of your situation, generally speaking,
breathalyzer evidence can be “beaten” in the following ways:
The results were unreliable: The U.S. criminal justice system allows defendants to question and contest
the reliability of all evidence submitted in their case, including the
results of breathalyzer tests. Many breath testing machines are known
for being unreliable and frequently produce inaccurate readings, especially
The device was improperly calibrated: Like any other electronic device, breathalyzers must be tested and calibrated
before use to ensure their accuracy. Unless the prosecution has proof
that the breathalyzer the officer used was properly calibrated, the test
results may be declared inadmissible in court.
Poor training: Your attorney may be able to question whether or not the officer who administered
the breathalyzer test had the proper training to do so. Just like how
many people have successfully beaten speeding tickets by contesting the
police’s proper operation of a radar gun, the same strategy may
be used to question breath tests.
Illegal testing: You may not be tricked into consenting to a breathalyzer test, nor may
the police legally administer a breath test if they did not have a legitimate
reason to pull you over in the first place. Any breath test which is illegally
administered will be inadmissible in court.
The police fail to testify: Under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, you have
the right to face your accuser and have them face cross-examination in
a court of law. If the administering officer does not show up to testify
in your case, your attorney may be able to allege that the breathalyzer
results are a violation of your constitutional rights.
Charged with Drunk Driving?
Ultimately, the options available to you when contesting your drunk driving
charge are only limited by the skill and creativity of the attorney you
have in your corner. If you have been arrested for DUI in Virginia Beach,
the criminal defense lawyers at George Holton Yates, Attorneys at Law,
P.C. are prepared to go the distance and fight tooth and nail to guard
your rights and driving privileges. With more than 30 years of proven
legal experience, our firm has what it takes to minimize your chances
Dial (503) 483-4025 or
contact our firm online today to discuss your defense options in full detail.