False Positive with Unnatural Breathing are Common in DUI Cases

Feb 15, 2018 — by James E. Novak Attorney PLLC
Tags: Dui Dui Defense Attorney False Positive

In Phoenix, AZ, attorney James Novak provides aggressive defense for DUI cases. A DUI can be defended on many fronts, many of which involve challenging the breath test results. A DUI breath test is designed to determine the level of alcohol in a driver’s system. When an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher is found, the legal standard for DUI has been met. This threshold is relatively low, making it easier for law enforcement to write more DUI tickets and requiring defendants to fight the charges in order to protect their driving privileges. It is not unheard of for the breath test to give off a false positive, and a false positive with unnatural breathing is one of the most common causes for this type of inaccurate result.

man blowing into breath test

How Your Breathing Can Affect A Breath Test

A breath test machine is designed to measure the amount of alcohol in a persons’ system by measuring the amount of alcohol in the breath. When the machine is blown into, it will give off a reading that translates to a BAC (blood alcohol content) level, if that level is higher than what is allowed by law, the driver can be arrested and charged with DUI. Because the test requires a person to blow into the device, how that person is breathing plays a role in the result. Taking a deep breath allows the alcohol stored at the bottom of your lungs to make its way to the top, and thus be the first thing measured by the testing device. The end result is a higher BAC level, otherwise known as a false positive. A more natural breathing pattern will yield a more accurate result and drivers should not allow an officer to require a large inhale before taking a breath test.

Possible Defenses To Breath Tests

Along with knowing the correct way to breathe prior to taking a breath test, there are also other common challenges that are made to test results, including:          

  • Questioning the maintenance of the equipment, and poking holes in the prosecution’s case by pointing out the machines have not been properly cleaned or maintained. A machine that is not kept properly will not give off a reliable result.
  • Attacking the training of the person administering the test. Breath tests are supposed to be given by persons properly trained to do so, and it is within the suspect’s right to question that training. When training is lacking or inadequate, the test results may not be accurate.
  • Examine the waiting time requirements. If those were not followed, the test results should be called into question.

You may also be able to challenge a breath test result by introducing evidence of the existence of another substance. Some medications can give off a false positive when taking a breath test, and certain medical conditions may also impact the way the test is read. Whatever the circumstances, it is always in your best interest to challenge a breath test and fight for your right to drive.

Where to Turn For DUI Defense Help

If you have been arrested for DUI, call the Law Offices of James E. Novak, P.C., for help. We focus on DUI and criminal defense, and have realized success in minimizing the negative implications a DUI arrest can have. Contact us online or call our office at (480) 413-1499.

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