An important question that anyone facing a DUI may ask is whether a Breathalyzer is truly accurate. When your guilt or innocence relies on a simple test, you want to make sure that it was taken correctly and that the results accurately describe your blood alcohol concentration.
For the most part, Breathalyzers are accurate with their readings. The problem tends to be with the way the test is performed, not with the machine itself. Here’s a little bit more about a breath test and why yours may be invalid.
Breathalyzers need to be calibrated
Professional Breathalyzers require calibration to guarantee that they read a person’s blood alcohol content accurately every time. Typically, the error is allowed to be no more than .02 percent between tests. For example, if the police officer gives you a breath test and it returns with .08 percent finding, the next test should be no more than .10 percent and no less than .06 percent. Even then, that is a questionable variance in the findings. It is best if the readings, when taken within moments of each other, are identical or extremely close to identical.
Outside factors can impact your blood alcohol reading
If you burp, the Breathalyzer is likely to read higher than if you had not. It disrupts the test and may provide a false positive. This could also happen if you recently used a mouthwash containing alcohol. The officer providing the test should make sure that you do not make errors during its administration. If you do, it needs to be taken again.
User error is a reality
For an officer to give you a Breathalyzer test, that person needs to be trained to do so. While Breathalyzers are easy to use, there is a risk of error if the users are not familiar with the product.
No matter how high your BAC came back or what kind of DUI you face, you have a right to stand up against unfair treatment, mistakes and unfair penalties. With the right help, it’s possible to question the validity of a test, like a Breathalyzer test or field sobriety test, to see if that evidence can be eliminated from use. If so, it could help you get the charges against you dropped completely or lowered, so you have fewer penalties to deal with. It’s worth your time to look into your options, so you can properly defend yourself.