6 Factors that Can Impact the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests (Pt. 2)

December 25, 2014

Resuming 6 Factors that Can Impact the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests (Pt. 1), here, we will continue to point out some of the specific things that can make the results of breath tests unreliable and problematic.

More Factors that Can Affect the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests

3 – How long officers wait before administering breathalyzer tests

How breath tests are administered during DUI stops can impact the accuracy of breathalyzer tests and their results. Contact us for the best DUI defense.

How breath tests are administered during DUI stops can impact the accuracy of breathalyzer tests and their results. Contact us for the best DUI defense.

In Mississippi, the law dictates that law enforcement officials are required to wait a minimum amount of time before administering breathalyzer tests during DUI stops. In particular, this time frame is 20 minutes, and officers are required to observe DUI suspects during this period of time to ensure that they do NOT:

  • Consume anything else (including any foods, liquids, etc.)
  • Regurgitate.

If, during this required observation period:

  • Neither of the above occurs, then officers can administer breathalyzer tests (on DUI suspects who have consented to such testing).
  • Either of the above takes place, then officers must wait another 20 minutes (during which none of the above should occur) before administering breathalyzers.

Failing to wait for this period of time – or administering breathalyzers immediately even after DUI suspects have regurgitated or consumed something – can lead to:

  • The accuracy of breathalyzer tests being affected.
  • The results of these test possibly getting thrown out of court.

4 – Whether officers have been trained to properly administer breathalyzer tests

While it may seem like administering breathalyzers is a simple, easy and/or straightforward thing, the reality is that law enforcement officials have to follow some very specific procedures when administering this type of BAC testing in the field/on DUI suspects. When officers have not been trained on how to administer breathalyzer tests and/or it’s been a long time since they’ve had updated training, it may be possible to argue that:

  • The breathalyzer test was NOT properly administered.
  • The accuracy of the breathalyzer tests may have been impacted.

Be sure to check out the upcoming conclusion to this blog series!

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

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Categories: Blog, Criminal Defense, DUIs