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What you don't know about breath tests could hurt your case

When you are pulled over by police who may suspect you of driving drunk, there are many things you do not know at that moment in time that an officer does know. From the moment you see lights flashing in your rear view mirror, you can be at a disadvantage.

For example, many people may not realize that they have the right to refuse a preliminary breath test conducted by an officer during a traffic stop. There are a number of reasons why a person might refuse, but a primary reason may stem from something else you don't know: whether the breath test device being used is properly calibrated.

Devices that analyze a person's breath to estimate intoxication levels are very commonly used by Colorado police. Drivers who are suspected of driving drunk will often be asked to blow into one so an officer can gather evidence against the driver to support drunk driving charges.

However, these devices are definitely not perfect and they can only work as well as humans will allow them to. This is because breath test devices must be carefully and regularly calibrated and maintained. When this is not done, the devices can deliver inaccurate results and if a case is built on faulty evidence, a person can be wrongfully convicted.

There are also instances when an officer or other person administering a breath test does so improperly, which can also result in inaccurate results.

Because of these vulnerabilities with breath test devices, it can be crucial for drivers to know that it is possible to examine records for the maintenance and calibration for breath test equipment. If an examination shows that the device was faulty or misused, evidence collected with that device can be dismissed.

Drivers may not realize all this at the time they are sitting on the side of the road speaking with a police officer, but they can still action after an arrest to defend against DUI charges. With legal support and guidance, people in this situation can learn much more about their rights and options.

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