6 Factors that Can Impact the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests (Pt. 1)

December 20, 2014

When traffic officers make DUI stops, one thing they may do to try to assess whether or not a driver is intoxicated is to request that the driver submit to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing, either in the form of breathalyzer tests or blood tests. While breathalyzer tests can produce immediate results, these results:

  • Will not always accurately reflect the BAC of a person
  • Should be carefully analyzed by an experienced defense attorney when people are charged with DUI to reveal whether they may be problematic.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for or charged with a DUI, don’t hesitate to contact Montgomery and Birmingham DUI defense lawyers at Joe M. Reed & Associates, LLC. Our attorneys have a record of success when it comes to helping people successfully fight DUI charges.

These Things Can Affect the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests

1 – The type of device used

Various things can impact the accuracy of breathalyzer tests. Here are a few. Contact us for the best defense against DUI and other criminal charges.

Various things can impact the accuracy of breathalyzer tests. Here are a few. Contact us for the best defense against DUI and other criminal charges.

In fact, different breathalyzer devices may render different BAC results, and the following aspects may impact the accuracy of results delivered:

  • Whether the breathalyzer is a portable device
  • The make and model of the breathalyzer used
  • How long the breathalyzer has been in use.

In the state of Mississippi, law enforcement officials are required to only use breathalyzers that have been specifically approved by federal safety regulators. In particular, this includes breathalyzer devices that have been specifically listed on the Conforming Products List (CPL) for Specifications for Evidential Breath Alcohol Measurement Devices (as compiled by regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA).

So, if traffic officers end up using breathalyzers that have not been specifically approved for field use of measuring BACs, an experienced defense attorney can argue that:

  • The accuracy of breathalyzer tests may have been compromised.
  • The results should not be admissible against the accused person.

2 – Whether the breathalyzer has been calibrated

In addition to having to use specifically approved breathalyzer devices, police officers are also generally required to:

  • Recalibrate their breathalyzers after using them
  • Maintain accurate and detailed records regarding the maintenance of these breathalyzer devices.

In the event that either of these requirements has not been met and a potentially un-calibrated breathalyzer device is used to assess a motorist’s BAC, again, it can be argued that:

  • The accuracy of the breathalyzer tests may have been impacted.
  • These results should not be able to be used as evidence against the person accused of DUI.

For our continued discussion regarding when the accuracy of breathalyzer tests may be problematic, don’t miss the upcoming second and third parts of this blog series!

Montgomery and Birmingham DUI Defense Attorneys at Joe M. Reed & Associates LLC

Have you or someone you love been charged with a DUI? If so, you can count on the Montgomery and Birmingham DUI lawyers at Joe M. Reed & Associates LLC to be aggressive advocates for your rights.

By trusting us to represent you, you can rest assured that our skilled and dependable Montgomery and Birmingham DUI defense attorneys will build you a strong case, will stand up for your rights at every step of the legal process and will work relentlessly to resolve your case as favorably as possible.

You are invited to attend an initial consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your rights. To set up this meeting today, call us at (334) 834-2000, or email us using the contact form at the top of this page. Initial consultations are free in most cases, and evening and weekend appointments are available for your convenience.

Categories: Blog, Criminal Defense, DUIs