You’re arrested for suspicion of drunk driving. When you’re taken to the police station, you submit to a breathalyzer test. The results show your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as being over the legal limit. Do the police have you dead to rights?

It might seem like a BAC measurement is definitive proof that you were driving while intoxicated. However, remember that you have a presumption of innocence. A breathalyzer test is just one piece of evidence against you. It’s still possible to raise an effective defense against criminal charges despite what your BAC reading may have been.

Some common defenses to drunk driving charges

Law enforcement places a great deal of faith in breathalyzer tests. However, some studies are calling into question their reliability. This means that a breathalyzer reading is far from bulletproof. Some ways to challenge the results of a BAC finding include:

  • Whether the test was performed correctly: If the officer who administered the test was properly trained or otherwise failed to perform the test correctly, the results might be challenged.
  • Whether the machine was calibrated correctly: Breathalyzers are sensitive pieces of equipment. Failing to calibrate the devices properly can throw off BAC readings.
  • Whether a medical condition had an impact on the reading: Certain medical conditions, such as acid reflux, can lead to a higher reading of alcohol on your breath than is actually in your blood.

Of course, the police need probable cause to pull you over in the first place. Any evidence of suspected drunk driving might be inadmissible if there was no legal reason to make a traffic stop. You should discuss your defense options with a skilled legal professional.