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Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / DUI / Challenging Colorado Breath Test Results

Challenging Colorado Breath Test Results


Were you recently pulled over on suspicion of a DUI or DWAI, and you took a breath test? Unlike in many other states, you should know that even a breath test that shows a lower BAC than 0.08 — which is the legal limit in most other states — can still result in criminal charges, with the offense of driving while ability impaired, or DWAI. A DWAI can be charged with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 percent but less than 0.08 percent. For most drivers, a DUI offense will be a traffic misdemeanor. Regardless of the level of the offense, it is important to know that there are often multiple ways to challenge breath test results. Our Denver DUI defense attorneys can explain in more detail.

Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test 

First, before we discuss ways of challenging breath tests, we want to be clear that you cannot simply avoid the consequences of a breath test by refusing to take one after you have been arrested. However, it is critical to know that you can refuse what is known as a “preliminary” breath test, or a breath test prior to an arrest without consequences. This is a handheld device commonly performed on the scene. Colorado’s express consent law (known as implied consent in other states) uses the Intoxilyzer 9000 at the police station for breath testing. Refusing this test after an arrest will, however, result in significant driver’s license related penalties. Additionally, your refusal to submit to a chemical test will be used as evidence of guilt in the criminal courts.

Ways of Challenging Breath Test Results 

Whether you took a preliminary breath test and blew a BAC of 0.05 or over and were arrested, or you took a breath test after an arrest that showed an unlawful BAC, there are various reasons that breath test results may not be accurate. It will be critical to work with an attorney who can assess the specific facts of your case and gather documentation to show the particular reason or reasons that your breath test results are inaccurate. Generally speaking, however, the following are some potential ways of challenging breath test results:

  • Breathalyzer machine was defective or malfunctioned during the breath test;
  • Law enforcement officer administering the breath test was not properly trained to use the breathalyzer device;
  • Contaminated breath test results;
  • Medication condition that affected the breathalyzer results;
  • Improper calibration of breathalyzer device; and/or
  • Lack of probable cause to perform a “search” (i.e., a Fourth Amendment violation).

Contact a Denver DUI Defense Lawyer 

Did you take a breath test that resulted in an arrest for DUI or DWAI in Colorado? It is important to know that there are serious consequences associated even with a traffic misdemeanor conviction in Colorado for DWAI or DUI, although the penalties are much less severe in comparison with a felony conviction. In some cases, a DUI will be a felony charge, and a conviction will result in a felony conviction on your record, and depending on the circumstances, even a DWAI can be a felony offense. Accordingly, it is essential to seek help from one of the experienced Denver DUI defense attorneys at DeChant Law to challenge the results of your breathalyzer test to avoid a conviction. Contact us today for assistance with your defense.




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