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Can your own breath test get you out of a DWI conviction?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | DWI

One piece of evidence that the police often use in a DWI stop is the results of a breath test. This evidence can show if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was over 0.08%, which is the legal limit for most drivers. Tests have long been used by law enforcement officers when making arrests.

But there are also personal breath tests that you can purchase for your own use. Many people do this just to check and make sure that they are not under the influence when they drive, seeking to avoid an arrest.

But what happens if you get arrested and the police say you were over the legal limit, but you have the results from your personal breath test showing that you were still under the limit? Can your own personal results get you out of a conviction?

The results can’t be used in court

No, a consumer breath test is not necessarily as accurate as a professional-grade test used by law enforcement. In order for the results to be used in court, test results have to be generated by an approved device that has been properly maintained and calibrated, and the test has to be administered by a trained police officer.

A personal breath test can be helpful for you if you’re just checking your own BAC. But the court won’t let you use the results because they do not know if you administered the test correctly, if the device itself was accurate or even if it was you who took the test and not someone else.

For these reasons, if you are facing criminal charges, it’s time to start looking into all of your defense options.