Did the breathalyzer malfunction during your arrest for DWI?

In the state of Louisiana, the law requires a breath test when a police officer stops you on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

An arrest for DWI is an unnerving experience, especially if you believe you were improperly charged with this offense. As a 2016 incident in Philadelphia shows, Breathalyzers are not always accurate.

Challenging accuracy

Breathalyzer machines must be recalibrated on an annual basis. However, in the summer of 2016, an attorney notified the police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that they were using Breathalyzers in which the calibrations had expired. The lawyer went on to estimate that the oversight could affect the outcomes of hundreds of cases that might have to go before the judge again. Breathalyzer calibrations involve a bottled solution that establishes accurate blood alcohol content readings. The attorney who brought the matter to light opined that the expired solution in the machines the police department was using could cause breath test findings to be inadmissible in court.

Facing the penalties

There are two legal proceedings associated with your DWI arrest: a criminal proceeding relative to the charge and an administrative proceeding, which will determine the fate of your driving privileges. You have the right to request a hearing during which you can challenge the possibility of a suspended driver’s license. Your attorney can also use this hearing to establish facts that may help in defending the criminal charge against you.

Seeking the best outcome

In the Philadelphia matter, the police department removed the Breathalyzers requiring recalibration, had them fixed, and put them back into service the same day. While prosecutors and judges expect accuracy from a breath test, the Philadelphia incident shows that machines are not perfect and human error can play a part in assigning blame incorrectly. There could be many factors to explore in a DWI charge, including an inaccurate BAC reading. A criminal defense attorney will review the facts carefully in pursuit of the best possible outcome for your case.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

For a free initial consultation, contact our Louisiana law firm online today or call 337-433-4405 to speak with one of the firm's talented attorneys.

The Sanchez Law Firm, LLC
1200 Ryan Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601

Phone: 337-433-4405
Map & Directions

Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

  • Top Lawyers of Acadiana 2016 | Acadiana profile magazine
  • AVVO Rating superb Top Attorney Criminal Defense
  • The Best Lawyers In AmericaSelected for Inclusion in 2007, 2008,
    2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014,
    2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
  • Rated By Super Lawyers Walter M. Sachez Visit.superlawyers.comSelected for Inclusion in 2007, 2008,
    2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014,
    2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
  • Top Lawyers of Acadiana 2018 | Acadiana profile magazine
  • AV Martindale Hubbell Badge | 2019