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Defending against breath test results

When you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, police officers have a variety of ways to gather evidence that you are too intoxicated to driver. They may have you go through a field sobriety test, asking you to walk a straight line and performing other simple tasks. If you fail, they will take notes and the prosecution will use those notes as evidence against you. The police will probably take note if they smell alcohol on your breath or appear to be slurring your speech, as well. But perhaps the most important evidence they will collect is the results of a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, test.

If you are 21 or older and the test reveals your BAC is 0.08% or higher, you will have your driver's license immediately confiscated and suspended for 30 days. This is just the beginning of the penalties you will face if you are convicted of OUI.

The most common way of administering a BAC test is through a breath analyzer, sometimes known as a Breathalyzer. Under Massachusetts law, drivers have implied their consent in advance to a breath test when they received their driver's licenses. If you refuse to take the test, you will have your license suspended.

Anyone who is charged with a crime has the right to a defense, but how can you defend yourself when the prosecution has evidence that your BAC was 0.08% or higher?

One way to defend against this type of evidence is to question whether the breath test was properly administered and whether the Breathalyzer itself was functioning properly. These devices must be carefully calibrated in order to give accurate results. If you can show that the police did not follow proper procedures in administering or calibrating the device, you may be able to get the BAC test evidence thrown out, greatly weakening the case against you.

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