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Orlando Criminal Attorney > Blog > Criminal Defense > Challenging Breathalyzer Test Results

Challenging Breathalyzer Test Results


After being pulled over for a suspected DUI, a police officer will likely ask you to take a breathalyzer test. You are required to take this test under Florida’s implied consent law and if you refuse, your license will be suspended anywhere from one year to 18 months. Whether or not you should submit to a breathalyzer test will depend on the facts of your case. However, even if you do take it and you blow over the legal limit of 0.08, there are still ways you can challenge the results. A Florida criminal defense lawyer can advise on what those are, and help you get the original test results thrown out.

Should You Take a Breath Test?

Unfortunately, there is no one specific answer as to whether or not you should submit to a breathe test. If you believe that you will blow under the legal limit, it can help exonerate you and get your DUI charges dropped. Even if you think you will blow over the legal limit, or if you are fairly sure you will not and still do, there is hope. Depending on how the results are presented, they may not even be a factor in your case.

Challenging the Results

Breathalyzers often malfunction, which causes them to quite frequently provide inaccurate results. False breathalyzer results could be caused by:

  • Improper calibration: Breathalyzers contain a silicon oxide sensor, which can become contaminated by many substances other than just the alcohol on your breath. To ensure this does not happen, breathalyzers must be replaced or calibrated every six months. If a breathalyzer is not properly calibrated, it will produce inaccurate results.
  • Interference of compounds: Older breathalyzers are still being used in Florida today and these machines are not as advanced as newer devices. They often identify other substances that are not ethanol, but that have the same molecular structure. This can result in a false positive.
  • Incorrect body type: Some models of breathalyzers assume the individual being tested is of a certain body type. Although most people will fit that category, not everyone will and that can result in a higher reading.
  • Other sources of alcohol: People often have alcohol on their breath even when they have not had one drink. Mouthwash and breath mints often contain alcohol, as does cough syrup in many cases. A breath test may detect this alcohol and produce a false positive, particularly if the person has used any of these substances and then had an alcoholic drink.

Our Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers are Here to Help

If you have blown over the legal limit at a DUI stop, or have faced consequences for refusing a breath test, our Orlando criminal defense lawyers at O’Mara Law Group can help. Our experienced lawyers have a proven track record of success with DUI cases and can aggressively defend you against the claims of the prosecution. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, and to learn more about how we can help.


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