Oklahoma's Oldest DUI Defense Firm

Attorneys Stephen G. Fabian Jr. and Brian P. Young

Can a personal breath test help someone avoid a DUI charge?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | DUI - Drunk Driving |

Anyone who regularly enjoys alcohol and drives their own vehicle could be at risk of criminal prosecution. Police officers arrest people every day for driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. Many people accused of drunk driving did not realize that they were over the legal limit prior to their arrests.

It is quite difficult for most people to accurately analyze their own degree of chemical impairment. They count on other people speaking up or on overt signs of intoxication to warn them before they get behind the wheel. Particularly if someone drinks regularly, they could be over the legal limit without realizing it.

Carrying a portable or pocket breath test unit is one way that people try to avoid DUI charges. Is a personal breath test the best way to ensure compliance with alcohol regulations?

Breath tests aren’t always accurate

Despite what people often believe, chemical tests are not infallible. In fact, devices used regularly for chemical testing are subject to multiple different types of failures. They can become uncalibrated due to repeat use. The results that they return might be highly inaccurate. Changes in software and maintenance issues could also lead to personal breath tests telling someone that they are under the limits when they are actually over it.

There is also the possibility of someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) continuing to rise after they finish drinking. Especially if someone takes a test right after they finish their last drink, their BAC could be substantially higher when a police officer pulls them over 20 minutes later.

While breath tests can sometimes let people know that they are not safe to drive, passing a test does not automatically mean someone can get home without getting arrested. Allowing for adequate time to sober up after a drink and limiting the number of beverages consumed are often the best options for those who want to comply with the law.

For those already facing DUI charges, questioning breath test results could potentially help their case. Showing that there may have been issues with the state’s test by displaying a prior personal test result could potentially help someone’s defense. Ultimately, reviewing the state’s evidence and the situation that led to an arrest with a skilled legal team can help people respond to pending DUI charges in informed and supported ways.