The penalties for drunk driving in New York are steep and, depending on your DUI history, could result in life-altering consequences. However, there are times when it is appropriate to challenge the case against you or question the legality of your arrest, such as when law enforcement makes an arrest based on the results of a breath test.
Breathalyzer results are a key component in many drunk-driving cases, yet these devices often give inaccurate results due to user error or faults with the device itself. If you suspect that the results of your breath test were inaccurate or believe law enforcement violated your rights during the administration of the test, you should take immediate steps in order to shield yourself from unfair DUI penalties.
Ways to challenge your Breathalyzer test results
As part of your defense strategy, it is reasonable to question any of the evidence brought by the prosecution, including the Breathalyzer results. Reasonable challenges to this evidence include the following:
- The machine is not reliable: Tests and studies have shown that Breathalyzers are not always accurate, which could lead to the arrest of an innocent person.
- User error can impact test results: If the law enforcement officer was not adequately trained on the appropriate administration of this test, this could have altered the results of your Breathalyzer test.
- The Breathalyzer machine was not calibrated: These machines are electronic devices and require regular maintenance and calibration. A machine not properly calibrated will give inaccurate results.
- There were no legal grounds for the traffic stop: If the arresting officer did not have legal grounds to pull you over in the first place, any evidence collected at the time, including breath test results, could be thrown out.
The defense strategy most appropriate for your situation will depend on the circumstances of your unique case. After an arrest, a conviction is never your only option, and, with qualified legal assistance, you may be able to mitigate the potential penalties that you face or even have the case against you dropped.
Your future interests and opportunities
A conviction for DUI will be on your criminal record and could impact future educational and career opportunities. There is much at stake, even for a first-time offender. It is worthwhile to explore all defense options available to you, including the possibility of challenging the results of a Breathalyzer test.