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Your DUI charge could go away due to breathalyzer issues

If the police arrest you on suspicion of driving under the influence, you will need to submit to a breath test. You may feel that once those results are in, your case is lost.

However, there is such a thing as equipment malfunction. Breathalyzers are subject to issues as simple as poor maintenance and faulty calibration, problems that may cause your case to be dismissed.

The importance of the breath test

In the state of Michigan, the results of breathalyzer testing are vitally important for prosecutors to use against someone accused of DUI. However, problems can arise as illustrated by an incident that occurred in Philadelphia. In the summer of 2016, a private attorney notified the police department there that the calibrations on the breathalyzers they were using had expired. The machines must be recalibrated annually with fresh solution that establishes the accuracy of blood alcohol readings. Time had run out on the solutions, and all the breathalyzers had to be removed from service and recalibrated with new solution.

The effect on DUI cases

Because of this problem, the legality of the results of hundreds of DUI cases was in question. The police department asked the District Attorney to review cases involving breathalyzers for the preceding five months; the expired solution would permit defense attorneys to argue on behalf of their clients that the test results were faulty and inadmissible in court.

Investigating the circumstances

An experienced criminal defense attorney may assure you that a legal team will examine every aspect of your traffic stop, including the breathalyzer and how police used it. In addition to looking into other possible issues, such as whether a sobriety test was given correctly, your case will be stronger if the testing equipment was improperly calibrated or maintained. As the incident in Philadelphia shows, an issue as simple as an expired solution can make all the difference in a DUI conviction.


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