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Does a failed breath test force you to plead guilty to a DUI?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2022 | Dui |

Maybe the first thing that an officer asks you during the traffic stop is whether you have had something to drink. They noticed something that made them suspect you of intoxication. On the other hand, it may be something that happens during the traffic stop that leads to suspicions of impairment.

If a police officer believes that someone has been driving under the influence (DUI), they will likely ask that person to perform field sobriety tests and possibly also a chemical drug test. You may have felt confident about performing the breath test because you had only had one beer or knew that you would pass without question, only for the officer to tell you that your results are too high.

Do the results of the breath test mean that you have no choice but to enter a guilty plea to DUI charges?

People can defend themselves by challenging breath test results

There are numerous ways for California drivers to defend against allegations of drunk driving. Challenging chemical breath test results is one option. These devices can return incorrect results for many reasons.

Breath tests are intricate chemical testing devices that require careful maintenance and regular calibration. Reviewing the maintenance records for the device can be a starting point for planning your defense strategy. On the other hand, going over your medical records could be the right approach if you have a condition that may have impacted your test results, like diabetes.

The problem with pleading guilty

A guilty plea means that your time in court will be short and straightforward. You will only have to worry about sentencing, not about proving your innocence. However, a guilty plea does not necessarily prevent a judge from sentencing you to the maximum penalties for the charges you face. A guilty plea also means that you will have a criminal record.

Not only could your professional license and your driver’s license be at risk, but you could face jail time. Every employer or landlord who ever does a background check on you in the future will see that you have previously had a run-in with the law. Fighting back against what you know were inaccurate breath test results can help you avoid the various consequences of a DUI conviction, including higher insurance costs and a lasting criminal record.

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