In college towns like Athens, drunk driving charges are common, although not always justified. Many people accused of drunk driving after allegedly failing a Breathalyzer test seem to think that there is nothing they can do to fight these charges, but this is not always true.
Although Breathalyzers and other similar devices provide impressive data quickly, they are far from perfect or even reliable. In fact, many Breathalyzer test results get thrown out, often resulting in dismissal of charges. If you face drunk driving charges because of the results of your Breathalyzer test, it is wise to consider your defensive options in order to protect your rights.
Reliability of Breathalyzer results
Measuring devices generally work in one of two ways, either statically or dynamically. A static measuring device does not typically involve moving parts or need calibration, like a yardstick or a measuring cup. In contrast, dynamic measuring devices like bathroom scales or speedometers require regular calibration and maintenance in order to remain reliably accurate. Breathalyzers are dynamic measuring devices, meaning that they may produce inaccurate results if they are not calibrated, maintained or operated properly.
Even if you believe that your results are reliable, it is important to consider any part of your arrest that may indicate improper calibration or use of the Breathalyzer. You may find that the evidence against you is not as strong as it seems.
The role of the arresting officer
The conduct of the arresting officer in your case may impact your defense significantly. If your arresting officer acted in a way that violates your constitutional rights, or if the officer broke the law in the course of your arrest, it is worth examining.
As you research the circumstances of your arrest, you may find that the officer who performed the test was not properly trained to operate the device, which is strong grounds for dismissing the results. While Breathalyzer training is not particularly complicated, it is necessary and should not be overlooked.
It is also important to consider your right to cross-examine the officer who performed your Breathalyzer test. If, for instance, the officer who performed the test does not appear for your court date, then you may see the charges dismissed.
The sooner that you begin building your defense, the more defensive options you have to consider and the more time you have to prepare. Your future freedoms and opportunities may depend heavily on fighting your drunk driving charges, so it is wise to make your defense a priority.