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Can your own breath test help with drunk driving charges?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

You can buy breath tests online that appear similar to the portable Breathalyzers often used by police officers. You may think, as many people do, that carrying one of these with you is a good way to avoid drunk driving charges. If you just take your own BAC reading at the bar, you can know whether or not you’re over the legal limit.

But does this actually help? Is it worth investing in this type of device so that you can try to get out of serious charges that may change your life?

These devices do not hold up in court

First and foremost, you need to know that you cannot submit your own breath test results in court. Say that you gave yourself a breath test and you found that you were at 0.07% in terms of BAC, but the police claimed that you were at 0.08% when they gave you the test. Since you hit the legal limit, they’re presuming you were intoxicated and charging you with the DUI. You cannot claim that you weren’t over the limit based on your own test, as this is not the type of evidence that the court will use.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that these devices are notoriously inaccurate. They may give you a reading that is much too high or much too low, and some have even said that people are completely sober when they know that they’ve been drinking. This inaccuracy is why these tests can be used in court, but it also means that you won’t necessarily know if you’re sober when you get in the car.

Furthermore, it’s important to use the breath test accurately and properly when you’re trying to get a reading. This is something that police are trained to do when administering the test to someone else. However, you may not use it properly if you are intoxicated at the time, as even simple tasks can become more difficult. Any sort of mistake that you make, no matter how minor, can impact the results that you get.

Considering your legal options

While there is nothing legally wrong with using these breath tests to keep an eye on your own BAC levels, you do need to know that they are not going to help you if you’re facing charges. At a time like that, what you really need is a full understanding of all of your legal defense options.