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Can I Dispute the Results of a Breathalyzer Test?

If you get pulled over and a cop believes that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that can end up being a massive legal headache for you. An OWI conviction has serious consequences, even if you have a clean record. One of the chief pieces of evidence that may be used against you is the results of a breathalyzer test, but what you might not have known is that these devices are not always as reliable as the police would like to claim. You can challenge the results, and a Des Moines OWI lawyer from our firm can help you do that.

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Do I Have to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

Obviously, the best way to ensure that a breathalyzer test isn’t used against you is to just refuse one, right? Not exactly. In Iowa the concept of “implied consent” means that by driving on the state’s roads, you have already given the police the permission to test you for the use of alcohol or drugs. This includes a breathalyzer test.

What happens if you refuse the test? You could still be arrested and you can end up having your license revoked on top of that.

How Can I Challenge the Results of a Breathalyzer Test?

The DataMaster, the machine that Iowa police use to test your breath, is not infallible. There are multiple ways to challenge the results. You could argue that:

  • The device was not properly calibrated
  • The officer was not trained to use the device correctly
  • You were not given instructions
  • You threw up or burped shortly before the test, throwing off the reading

You can also argue that there was no good reason for the stop in the first place.

Could a Medical Condition Affect My Reading?

It may also be possible to argue that you have a medical condition that affects the results of a breathalyzer test. This is a legitimate argument because different types of medication and certain medical conditions can impact this machine’s reading, even if every other part of the test is done correctly. Some things that can interfere with the DataMaster include:

  • GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Ketosis
  • Dental medications
  • Certain over-the-counter cough medications
  • Certain asthma medications

Do I Need a Lawyer?

An OWI conviction can land you in jail for up to one year. You can also have your license revoked and end up having to deal with expensive fines, mandatory classes, and other hassles. An experienced lawyer from our firm can help you find the best approach to your defense and challenge evidence like the breathalyzer test’s readings. We may even be able to get evidence thrown out completely.

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So if you are facing an OWI charge, don’t go it alone. Contact Herting Law, PLLC and learn more about how one of our attorneys can help you fight back against these accusations.

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