You honestly didn’t have much to drink at the football game, but a police officer stopped you on the way home for improper lane usage. You took the breathalyzer test, figuring you would pass it anyway. But the test results were surprisingly high. You really only had three beers. Can the machine be correct?

According to a recent New York Times investigation, breathalyzer machines nationwide are often less accurate than advertised. As a result, thousands of test results have been invalidated in recent years across the country. In some cases, poor maintenance is to blame such as where rats were found nesting inside one machine. See These Machines Can Put You in Jail, Don’t Trust Them.

If you believe your breathalyzer reading is suspiciously high, you may be able to contest the result. This can be difficult since many courts will not allow you to obtain the breathalyzer manufacturer’s proprietary data such as their programming codes. However, the right expert may be able to determine whether the machine operated improperly or was improperly maintained.

If you have been charged with DUI or a similar offense, contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney can probe for weaknesses in the state’s case. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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