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Can breathalyzer test results be wrong?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2023 | Drunk Driving

If the police reasonably suspect that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, they will pull you over for an investigation. This may include administration of a breathalyzer test.

However, it is not uncommon for breathalyzer equipment to give faulty results. Knowing some of the reasons why this might happen can help you build a strong defense against your DUI charges. These are three considerations that can help determine if your breathalyzer test results are potentially inaccurate.

Did you take the test too soon?

A breathalyzer device measures the concentration of alcohol in your system. If you take a test immediately after consuming an alcoholic beverage, your test result may erroneously exceed the legal limit. To avoid this error, the police are required to wait at least 15 minutes from the stop before administering the test.

Was the device properly calibrated?

Your chemical test result is only as accurate as the device that measured it. To function properly, the breathalyzer device must be properly maintained and calibrated. If the officer fails to calibrate the test, you could end up with a false-positive reading.

What did you consume prior to the test?

Certain foods and medications can skew your breathalyzer test results. For instance, taking the test immediately after using breath fresheners or mouthwash that contain traces of alcohol can lead to a false result. Anti-depressants too can mess up the test; and so can some energy drinks, ripe fruits, protein bars and pecans.

Protecting your rights

If you believe that the breathalyzer test results that the prosecution is using against you are false, you need to fight for your rights. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.