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Can I dispute breath test results?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2018 | Blog

If you are facing charges for a DWI in St. Louis, you probably know that it is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater. This applies to anyone who is over the age 21. There are multiple factors the prosecution will take into consideration when building the case against you. One of them includes the results of the breath test. 

Getting a result that indicates that your BAC is above the legal limit does not mean you are not able to question the validity of the breath test. Given that DWI penalties are severe, and you could end up paying dearly for a careless mistake for many years, disputing the results of the breath test may be a good defense strategy for your situation. Law enforcement officers administer the breath test. They are human and can make mistakes that cause false positives and higher normal readings. Possible defense angles include the following: 

Device improperly calibrated 

In order for the device to function correctly, authorities must test, service and calibrate it regularly. If they do not perform proper maintenance, the device could give off a false reading, leading to a higher probability of a DWI charge. 

Low air volume sample provided 

Not everyone who is asked to take the breath test can blow enough air into the device for it to work properly. They may have a medical condition like asthma or COPD that makes it hard for them to exhale a sufficient amount of their breath into the breath test. 

Temperatures outside of recommended testing range 

Was the weather acting up or a little colder or warmer than usual at the time of your arrest? It might be plausible for you to use the weather temperature to question the validity of the breath test results. 

It is crucial for you to share with your attorney every detail you can recall about the events as they transpired. Even information you thought was insignificant could have relevance to building a strong case in your defense.


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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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