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Pre-Courtroom Events: Breathalyzer Testing

Breathalyzer tests are probably the most widely recognized of all the ways that officers determine blood alcohol content in the world. From television shows and movies to public service announcements and even dramatic stories from friends or family members, most people at least recognize the term “breathalyzer”, if they are not quite sure what it is or how it works. As a matter of fact, a breathalyzer test can make a huge difference in your DUI (driving under the influence) case.

The state of Maine has a few requirements where breathalyzer testing is concerned, and these must be strictly adhered to for a DUI charge to stick. This includes laws regarding the machine itself, and some regarding the operator thereof. If even one law is not followed to the letter, then the prosecution may not be able to satisfy the burden of proof in your DUI case.

Rules For The Machine

Here is a brief outline of the rules regarding the breathalyzer machine itself. The machine must be in proper working order at all times. This includes calibration testing and maintaining the machine. A machine that fails calibration checks may be unreliable, and any test results may be inaccurate, and therefore the evidence may be suppressed in court.

Rules For The Operator

Any officer who uses a breathalyzer machine must be trained to do so by a professional, and the certification that he/she receives from this training must be kept current at all times. For most counties, this means that every officer who may deal with DUI arrests will need to be recertified on the machine every few years.


When the machine or operator are out of compliance with the laws dictated by the state of Maine, the prosecution may not be able to use whatever evidence was gained by the breathalyzer test, including evidence that was obtained as a result of the test results. Talk to a professional DUI lawyer to learn more, and find out what your options are in your case.

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