If you are stopped by the police in Georgia for suspected DUI, you may be required to take a breath test. If the test registers that you have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit, you may assume that this is accurate, but this is not always the case, and it might be possible to challenge the breath test as part of your defense against a drunk driving charge.
Reliability of the breath test
The test may be unreliable for several reasons. One is user error. The officer who performed the test might not have been trained in the correct usage of the device. The device might also have been poorly calibrated. Some devices are simply not reliable. This was the case with an entire brand used in Ohio, as a judge ruled in 2013.
Another potential defense for driving under the influence has to do with the traffic stop. Georgia does have an implied consent law when it comes to breath tests, meaning that you can face substantial penalties for refusing to take one. However, law enforcement must have a reasonable suspicion to stop you in the first place, and it might be possible to demonstrate that this was not the case.
Going to court
If you do go to court, the officer who gave you the test might not be present. This could give you the opportunity to challenge the other officer regarding the breath test.
Having a robust defense can be important because the legal penalties associated with a DUI can include fines, losing your license and even jail time. Beyond that, there can be other consequences as well. For example, you may lose some types of jobs if you get a DUI. Therefore, while you might be tempted to simply try to pay the penalty and move on, it can be important to think about the ramifications of a DUI on your record before deciding how to proceed.