Can I Challenge Ohio OVI Breath Tests?

DUI or drunk driving is called Operating a Vehicle While Impaired (OVI) in Ohio. One of the primary methods of determining if you are impaired is a breathalyzer test. A device measures your blood alcohol level (BAC) from the air in your lungs. This evidence is then used against you in court proceedings. Confusion exists about whether or not you may challenge an Ohio OVI breath test. Trial Lawyer Matthew W. Chapel addresses this issue.

Ohio Law on OVI Breath Tests

After 1984, Ohio drunk driving defendants were unable to challenge the results of breath-testing machines that were certified by the Ohio Department of Health. Then, in 2014, the Ohio Supreme Court clarified this ruling somewhat, and now defendants are allowed to challenge the results of their specific breathalyzer test.

You may be charged with OVI if you are operating any vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. You may also be charged with OVI if you are operating any vehicle and have above the allowable amount of amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, LSD, or marijuana in your urine or blood.

While your DUI defense may not depend on the scientific reliability of certified breath-testing machines, your attorney is allowed to challenge the competence, admissibility, accuracy, relevance, and credibility of your specific breath test.

Ohio DUI Defense Attorney Matthew Chapel has completed the DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Course conducted by the National College for DUI Defense and Anthony D. Palacios of Impaired Driving Specialists, LLC. This is identical to law enforcement officers’ training for conducting Field Sobriety Tests and is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States Department of Transportation.

Common Defense Strategies for OVI Breathalyzer Results

Breathalyzer tests are not airtight evidence of intoxication. In fact, Trial Lawyer Matt Chapel can use several strategies to challenge and discredit them as part of your defense.

Common defense strategies include:

·        Challenging probable cause: Under Ohio law, law enforcement officers must prove probable cause for pulling you over and administering sobriety tests.

·        Challenging evidence: All evidence must be collected and handled properly. Law enforcement mistakes could invalidate the evidence.

·        Creating reasonable doubt: Trial Lawyer Matt Chapel can introduce many factors to introduce reasonable doubt and shake the prosecution’s case against you.

·        Leveraging medical conditions: Some conditions and neurological problems can mimic the effects of intoxication. For example, diabetes often causes ketosis, which makes your breath smell like alcohol.

·        Improper procedure during Field Sobriety Tests: These tests usually involve, standing, walking, turning, and eye movement. If they are improperly conducted, they become inadmissible as evidence.

·        Test contamination: An improperly administered breath test can pick up latent alcohol in your mouth instead of air from your lungs. Even cough syrup or mouthwash can compromise the test.

Even with some credible evidence, Matt Chapel can sometimes discredit the case against you to some degree and facilitate a plea agreement for reduced charges and penalties. This is especially viable if this is your first offense, and you have a clean driving and criminal record.

Get Experienced Ohio OVI Representation

Trial Lawyer Matt Chapel is a former United States Marines and that tenacity characterizes his OVI representation for clients. He has the experience and knowledge to craft a formidable defense on your behalf, including challenging Ohio OVI breath tests. Refusing any breath, blood, or urine DUI test in Ohio automatically suspends your driving license; however, Matt still has strong strategies to employ in your defense.

A drunk driving conviction jeopardizes your reputation, freedoms, and future, so you need a criminal defense attorney who isn’t afraid to fight and knows how to do it right. If you are arrested for OVI in Ohio, your first call needs to be to Matthew W. Chapel, Trial Lawyer, at (260)387-6236. Get a free consultation to review your case and advice on your next steps.

If you have questions about a matter that is pending before a court in Northeast Indiana or Northwest Ohio, contact Matt Chapel immediately. Call Matt at 260-387-6236 or email him at

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