Being pulled over and asked to perform a Breathalyzer test can be a surprising thing to happen to you, and you will likely be nervous or upset when you have this experience. It may be difficult to recall the events in detail, because the entire episode may feel like a blur. If your Breathalyzer test measured your blood alcohol percentage (BAC) at 0.08% or higher, you will be facing DUI charges.
However, a Breathalyzer test result is not always definitive proof that you were driving over the legal alcohol limit. This is because these tests are notoriously inaccurate. They can malfunction, give false-positive results or be influenced by medical conditions that you have. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol in Illinois, you should understand all of the defense options you have at your disposal.
Inaccurate Breathalyzer testing
Breathalyzer tests should only be used in conjunction with other field tests to measure sobriety. This is because Breathalyzer tests are known to vary significantly. Additionally, they interpret breath to estimate a driver’s BAC. This can be problematic for many reasons, most notably because drivers may have a medical condition that increases the presence of alcohol in the breath.
Illegal stop of a vehicle
A vehicle can only be stopped if law enforcement has a good reason to believe that a law has been violated. They cannot stop cars at random or through any type of gender or racial profiling.
Post-driving alcohol absorption
A person can become more intoxicated after they have stepped out of the car. If a person had a drink and immediately proceeded to drive the 5-minute journey home, likely, they would not have been over the legal limit during this time.
However, if they were pulled over and taken to a police station to have a blood test 30 minutes later, the blood test may signify that they were over the limit because the driver’s blood absorbed more alcohol during that time. In many cases, this result can be challenged, because it does not reflect the sobriety of the individual when they were in the car.
If you are facing DUI charges in Illinois, you should reflect on your individual circumstances and consider whether there could be a way to defend yourself from the charges.