The Breathalyzer Might Not Be Calibrated During An OVI Stop

Posted on: 29 November 2021

You might breathe into a breathalyzer and assume that you will be able to go on your way. After all, you haven't consumed alcohol to such an extent that it is unsafe to drive. However, when you breathe into the breathalyzer, you may be arrested and charged with an OVI. Believe it or not, many departments fail to administer breathalyzer tests that follow state guidelines and you may be able to have this evidence thrown out. Read on to learn more. 

How a Breathalyzer Works

A police officer might pull you over for an OVI because they have probable cause and believe you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time. Breathalyzer tests are among the most common methods used by the police to gather evidence for an OVI. 

State Requirements for Breathalyzers

The solution found in the breathalyzer must be within the acceptable range as required by the state. The solution will need to be refrigerated immediately after the test. 

The breathalyzer needs to be calibrated regularly and records of the calibration must be kept for several years. Different states have different minimum requirements for how long these records should be kept. 

Failure to Present Evidence

The officer will need to provide evidence that the breathalyzer was properly calibrated. Some departments fail to provide this evidence or do not have it at all. When this occurs, your charges will not necessarily be dismissed but the evidence of the breathalyzer test will be dismissed.

How to Win Your OVI Case

The officer might use other forms of evidence to determine if you were under the influence of alcohol. For example, the officer can require that you perform a field sobriety test. For example, the walk-and-turn test asks you to walk in a straight line. You may also be asked to stand on one leg.

If you are asked to take the test, whether you are allowed to refuse depends on the state in which you reside. For example, there is no consequence in some states for refusing to take a test. However, you may be required to be arrested by the officer and taken to another location for a more precise test. Regardless of the results of the test, you will then have the right to consult with an OVI attorney who will give you legal counsel and possibly defend you in court. To learn more about your case and fighting an OVI charge, contact an OVI attorney today.