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Does a failed breath test automatically lead to a DUI conviction?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2021 | DUI |

If the police pull you over and think that you have had too much to drink, they will ask you to do a field sobriety test and then maybe even a chemical breath test. If you fail that chemical test, the police officer will probably arrest you immediately and take you to jail for the night.

Some people who fail chemical breath tests feel shocked because they know that they didn’t drink too much that night. Those who unexpectedly fail a chemical breath test could start to question their own recollection of events and wonder if they weren’t wrong about what happened. They might plead guilty because they assume there is no way to fight a driving under the influence (DUI) charge if there is chemical evidence against them.

Does a failed breath test all but guarantee a conviction if you try to fight your charges in court?

If you have reason to doubt the test, you may have grounds to challenge it

Despite the perception that many people have of chemical breath tests producing reliable and accurate results, the truth is that these devices frequently return questionable readings in the field. The failures of chemical breath tests can result from all sorts of issues, from improper maintenance of the device to inadequate training of the officer performing.

It is also possible that something in your life, like your diet or a health condition, could impact the accuracy of the reading produced by the breath test unit. If you didn’t have anything to drink or if you know you had far less than it takes for you to reach the 0.08% blood alcohol concentration limit, challenging the accuracy of the test results could play a major role in your defense strategy.

Do the Kentucky courts ever acknowledge that chemical tests fail?

Challenging a breath test is not a rare occurrence anymore. In fact, there are certain judges and courts that require substantial evidence beyond chemical testing for impaired driving charges specifically because of accuracy issues with field testing units.

Look carefully at your test results, department information regarding the officer who tested you and the device that they used. It could help you find a way to fight back against drunk driving charges.