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Can you use a personal breath test in court against a drunk driving charge?

| Jul 5, 2021 | DUI

You get pulled over by the police after a night out with your friends. The officer gives you a breath test and tells you that you’re over the legal limit. You end up getting arrested. 

However, you specifically tried to avoid drunk driving. You bought your own breath test, which you used before getting in your car. It told you that you were under the legal limit. Can you challenge the officer’s findings by telling the court about your own results?

Only specific test results can be used in court as evidence

The reality is that, though you were trying to keep from driving under the influence, you simply cannot use those results in court. Even the portable breath tests that officers sometimes carry usually can’t be used in court. The only thing that is permissible is the breath test they give you at the station — or something else, such as a blood test. The court will not accept a test you bought yourself as evidence. 

That does not mean that you shouldn’t use one of these tests if you want to keep an eye on your own BAC levels. It may be better than doing nothing, as it could warn you not to drive with a high result. Just know that the test isn’t going to be entered into an ensuing court case, no matter what that result was. 

What should you do next after a drunk driving charge?

If you are facing charges for impaired driving, it can drastically impact your future in many ways. Make sure you know what options you have and what legal steps you should take to protect your rights and your future. 

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