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Fighting breathalyzer test assumptions

We often go through our days placing trust in technology. We assume our computers, cars, phones, refrigerators and other devices will work as designed. If they don’t function properly, it can mean expensive repairs or replacement.

Police departments do much the same with their technology, placing their trust in breathalyzers to reliably tell them when a motorist has crossed the threshold of impairment and cannot legally drive in Colorado. The question is whether law enforcement agencies should be so trusting of the devices. 

While it might seem to the layman that a positive breath test is all the evidence needed by police and prosecutors to convict a person of drunken driving, the reality is that experienced attorneys have helped thousands of Denver drivers effectively fight DUI charges.

The breath test machine used must be regularly maintained and calibrated. If it isn’t, it can give false positives and other inaccurate readings. A DUI attorney can examine maintenance and calibration records to determine if the device was properly calibrated and maintained.

Other factors that can cause breathalyzers to give false positives include a delay in when the breath test was administered or the presence of dental work in the mouth of the person being tested. The breathalyzer has no way of knowing that a person has an abscess or above-average body temperature or weight or other affecting factors. It simply gives a reading based on the alcohol it detects and police, prosecutors and sometimes the suspect all assume the reading is accurate.

An experienced DUI attorney challenges those assumptions to protect a client in court or in negotiations. 

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