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Should You Dispute Breath Test Results For an Illinois DUI?

 Posted on February 29, 2024 in DUI

Rolling Meadows, IL dui defense attorneyA DUI charge can cause chaos in your life in an instant. Many drunk driving arrests rely heavily on breathalyzer readings to establish blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. However, these devices are imperfect and mishandling results happens often. An Illinois lawyer can help you to contest questionable breath tests in court and whether doing so aligns with your best legal interests.

How Do Breath Tests Work and Why Should I Challenge Them?

Breath analyzers estimate BAC through an infrared spectroscopic analysis of your breath. But the reliability depends on proper device calibration, testing protocols, and operator skill. Procedural deviations could make the numbers inaccurately high or low. By examining maintenance records and administrator errors, a defense lawyer may succeed in excluding faulty breath results.

Potential Breath Testing Mistakes

Mistakes often happen during breathalyzer testing. Watch for these issues:

  • Inadequate observation period pre-test

  • Unapproved testing equipment

  • Failure to obtain complete breath samples

  • Lack of probable cause for a traffic stop

  • Not advising of test refusal consequences

Pinpointing just one miscue can mean the difference between conviction and exoneration.

When Disputing Readings is Not Recommended

Though flawed breath tests are challengeable, contesting them sometimes backfires and could lead to you looking more guilty. It may be more worthwhile to explore plea options or build an alternative defense without spotlighting weaknesses in the state’s evidence. Aggressively attacking breath results make the most sense when:

  • BAC readings seem inflated or contradictory

  • Your record leaves minimal room for error

  • Suppression could lead to dropped charges

Discuss with your lawyer whether to fight the numbers or follow a less contentious path.

Implications of a DUI Charge in Illinois

A DUI conviction in Illinois carries steep consequences that can cause issues for years. Possible penalties include heavy fines, license suspension, ignition interlock installation, and even jail time. Your auto insurance rates will likely skyrocket after a drunk driving offense. A DUI can also negatively impact your career if you work in certain professions like medicine, transportation, the military, or public safety. Suffering a DUI conviction could also mean that any future drunk driving arrest is treated as a felony rather than a misdemeanor in Illinois.

Contact a Oakbrook Terrace, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Do not just accept whatever BAC figures an officer says a breathalyzer showed. You have a right to challenge the testing process for errors. Working with a Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney can help you with this and determine if it is the best route for you. Call Hartsfield Law at 312-345-1700 for a free consultation.

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