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3 things to know about alcohol breath tests

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2023 | DWIs

Drunk driving charges are serious matters that must be handled quickly. A conviction can mean you lose your driver’s license, have to pay considerable fines, and could impact immigration.

Many components are included in these cases. Learning a bit about some of these may help you if you’re facing charges for drunk driving. The alcohol breath test is one of those that could make a major difference in your defense strategy.

2 types of breath tests

There are two types of breath tests that can be performed. One of these is the stationary device that’s typically kept at the police station. The other is the smaller handheld device known as the preliminary alcohol screening device.

The larger device is considered more accurate than the handheld device. Because of this, the larger device is admissible in court but the smaller device isn’t. PAS devices are useful to police officers because they can help them to determine if someone might be impaired, but the results can’t be used as the basis of criminal charges.

If a person has a PAS result that indicates they’re impaired, the officer will take them to do a test on the larger machine. Alternatively, they may request a blood or urine test at a hospital or medical center. Blood and urine tests are also suitable for criminal cases.

Chemical tests in courts

There are a few ways that a defense strategy may address breath tests. One of these is to call the calibration into question. All breath test machines must be properly calibrated to ensure they’re accurate. The calibration must be clearly documented.

Training and the administration method may also come into the picture during the development of a defense strategy. It’s sometimes possible to show that there were steps improperly handled during the administration of the test. For example, tests that aren’t given within a specific time may be considered invalid.

Anyone who’s facing drunk driving charges should ensure they understand their defense options. Exploring these as early in the case as possible may give you time to consider what you want to do.