When a driver is pulled over for suspected drunk driving, the law enforcement officer may ask him or her to submit to sobriety tests to determine if additional testing is necessary. The officer may then ask the driver to submit to a Breathalyzer test using a device that is supposed to be able to accurately determine a driver’s blood alcohol content.
If a Breathalyzer registers blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, Georgia police will place the driver under arrest for intoxicated driving. It is essential these devices be accurate as the results will have a direct effect on a driver’s future. One way to ensure Breathalyzer results will be accurate is through proper use and accurate calibration. Failure to calibrate this device could lead to inaccurate BAC test results.
An individual arrested for drunk driving has the right to challenge the prosecution’s case, including the results of the Breathalyzer test. The evidence against the driver may not stand if there is proof of issues with the administration of the test or the device. In order for these results to be valid and admissible in court, the following must apply:
- Law enforcement has regularly inspected and checked the device.
- The device is on an approved list of accepted Breathalyzer devices.
- The person administering the device has had proper training and certification in administration of Breathalyzer tests.
- The breath test has to capture two different readings within .02% of each other.
- The person taking the test cannot eat. drink, vomit or do other things before taking the test as these things can affect the results.
- The defendant may be able to accurately challenge the results of his or her breath test if there is proof the device did not receive regular calibration or issues with how the law enforcement officer administered the test.
The best defense strategy
The best defense against drunk driving depends on the details of the individual situation. A Georgia driver will want to explore all of the options available to him or her as soon as possible after an arrest. Part of the defense strategy may include challenging the results of a Breathalyzer test and the accuracy of the device. Each individual charged with drunk driving has the right to a presumption of innocence, regardless of the evidence brought by the prosecution.