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2 explanations for why you failed a roadside breath test

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2022 | Drunk Driving

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a crime in Texas, and it is a common offense. People get arrested after they cause crashes or during targeted traffic stops. However, officers need more than just their claim that you drove poorly to arrest you and convince a prosecutor to charge you with a DWI offense.

Usually, police officers have drivers perform field sobriety tests and chemical breath tests when they believe they have grounds for DWI charges. Such tests can help show that someone was over the legal limit for alcohol or displayed clear signs of impairment.

You may have agreed to perform those tests because you assumed you would pass, only to end up failing the breath test. How can you potentially defend yourself if you fail the breath test but believe that you should have passed?

Blame the device

Chemical breath testing is a complex process that requires professional machinery. Mistakes by the police department or the officer administering the test could impact the accuracy of the results. Issues with the device itself could explain a failed test when you know you only had a single beer.

Perhaps the testing unit was old or had outdated software. Maybe it had been weeks since its last calibration, so there is no way to know how accurate the readings it took actually were. Police departments typically maintain records of how they repair and upgrade their chemical breath test device. If you can find gaps in those records, you can raise questions in court about the accuracy of your test results.

Provide an alternative explanation

Do you follow a paleo diet and strive to remain in a state of ketoacidosis to burn fat? You might have acetone on your breath because of your diet which could have led to a false positive result on the breath test. A similar chemical reaction could occur in someone with undiagnosed or unmanaged blood sugar issues. There are also prescription medications that can affect breath test accuracy. Even using mouthwash in the moments before you take a test could lead to it artificially high results.

Fighting back against questionable breath test results can be a successful defense strategy for those facing Texas DWI charges.