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Can you challenge a breath test?

So you got pulled over, the Tennessee police gave you a breath test and it said you were over the legal limit. They arrested you and they want to charge you with a DUI. That's the end of it, right? The test says that you broke the law, so you're going to be convicted.

Not so fast. It's definitely possible to challenge the results of a breath test.

One option is to claim that the test was not accurate or not reliable. For example, perhaps you were tested twice in short order and the test was massively different in each case. That could mean that it was never giving an accurate reading.

You may also find that the police had not calibrated it recently. This has to be done every so often. If the test sat around for the last few months without being calibrated, you don't know that the result was accurate.

Additionally, even if you admit that the breath test was accurate, you may be able to argue that you were illegally searched. For example, perhaps the police did not have probable cause to pull you over in the first place. If they didn't, evidence they collected after the illegal stop can't be used.

Finally, you may find out that the officer hadn't been trained properly to use the breath test. An officer without training may have used it incorrectly and could have produced inaccurate readings.

So, even if the breath test didn't go in your favor, don't forget that you still have legal options. Never assume that there is nothing you can do, especially when you think that your rights were violated or that the evidence being used against you is not reliable.

Source: FIndLaw, "5 Potential Ways to Challenge a Breathalyzer," Brett Snider, accessed Nov. 10, 2016

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