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Was Your Breathalyzer Test Inaccurate?

Conviction is never a foregone conclusion in a Florida DUI (driving under the influence) arrest. You have many DUI defense strategies available to use, one of them being: challenging the breathalyzer test.

Breathalyzers can give inaccurate results, and David J. Hanson, Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Potsdam lists the following errors involved with breathalyzers:

  • Many machines test not just ethyl alcohol content but also all other substances with similar molecular structures, which include some 70 to 80 percent of substances in the human breath capable of being misidentified as ethyl alcohol.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, people with diabetes and individuals on diets have high acetone levels that can be falsely identified as ethyl alcohol on some machines.
  • Eating bread products can produce a .05 blood alcohol content (BAC) reading.
  • Painters or people breathing in lacquers, paint removers and gasoline can test falsely for BAC.
  • Blood or vomit in the subject’s mouth can lead to falsely high BAC readings.
  • Interference from cell phones, police radios, tobacco smoke, dirt and moisture can affect BAC readings.
  • Temperatures alter machine calibration, and failure to recalibrate can result in inaccurate testing.
  • A fever can cause approximately an eight percent increase in apparent BAC

Because of possible inaccuracies, the person administrating the breathalyzer test must observe a driver suspected of DUI for 15 minutes before giving the test to ensure no vomiting, eating, drinking, belching or smoking occurred. Also, the time between your being stopped and taking the test can invalidate a test. It takes a while for alcohol to absorb into the blood and sometimes the BAC level is still rising, especially when you drank right before being stopped. Consequently, the BAC tests higher than when you were driving.

Blowing .08 or higher on the breathalyzer test does not seal your fate for a DUI conviction. DUI attorneys can investigate and develop an appropriate strategy to fight your arrest. A criminal defense law firm with extensive experience improves your chances of beating charges.