If you're facing North Carolina DWI/DUI charges, you're likely anxious. Drunk driving convictions come with a host of both short-term and long-lasting consequences, including:
- Loss of your driving privileges
- The possible need for an expensive ignition interlock device in your primary vehicle
- Higher insurance premiums
- Hefty fines
- Jail time
- Social stigma
With those serious ramifications on the proverbial table, you can see why it's so important to vigorously defend yourself against any DWI/DUI charge. One way to fight back against allegations of drunk driving is to challenge the validity of the breath test results that indicate you were over the legal BAC limit.
Challenging a Breathalyzer
- Reliability: is the individual device giving consistent results? Did you get different results on the same machine? Has the brand or model of breath tester had issues in the past? Have there been any scientific studies about flaws in the device?
- Improper calibration: have proper procedures been followed to calibrate the device each time? Unless steps are meticulously followed, residue from prior tests or cleaning agents could impact the results.
- Maintenance: manufacturers set specific maintenance schedules to ensure that breathalyzer devices function as designed. Were those procedures followed? Are there records and logs documenting those steps?
- Inadequate training: was the officer testing you adequately trained on how to operate breathalyzers? Without proper training, the testing could be performed improperly, yielding an unreliable result.
- The underlying stop: was there a valid reason to pull you over? Did you run a stop sign? Speeding? Change lanes without signaling? Without reasonable suspicion to stop you, any evidence obtained from the traffic stop might be inadmissible.
These are not the only reasons why DWI/DUI evidence could be challenged. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you about the best strategy for fighting the charges against you, based on the facts of your unique case.