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Are breath tests for alcohol ever wrong?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2022 | Drunk Driving

Most people know that adults can’t drive if they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more without running the risk of being arrested for drunk driving. Some individuals put a lot of faith in breath test machines (Breathalyzers) but there’s a chance that there will be errors with the results. Incorrect results shouldn’t ever be the basis of a criminal conviction. 

Police officers have handheld devices that they can use roadside. These handheld machines are known to be less accurate than the much larger models that are housed in the police department. In some cases, a person who has a roadside test that shows impairment will be taken for a blood or urine test to get a more accurate result.

Why might a breath test be inaccurate?

Breath test machines must be calibrated on a regular basis. The schedule for this is set by the manufacturer. It’s up to the police officers or department to maintain records for when this is done. When they can’t produce the records for the calibration of the equipment used in your case, you can use that information in the defense strategy you use to fight the charges. 

A blood alcohol content (BAC) reading can also be skewed because of a variety of other causes. For example, a Keto diet can sometimes cause a breath test to read high. Similarly, the results can be wrong simply because the machine is bad or the officer operating it was poorly trained.

If a breath test is the basis of your arrest and drunk driving charge, you should learn about what options you have to call the results into question. It’s best to do this early in the case so you can review the possibilities for your defense.