6 Factors that Can Impact the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests (Pt. 3)

December 31, 2014

Wrapping up our blog series 6 Factors that Can Impact the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests, below, we will point out a few more things that can make breath test results unreliable.

Additional Things that Can Affect the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests

5 – Having certain medical conditions

The bottom line about the accuracy of breathalyzer tests is that having a DUI lawyer on your side can be critical to pinpointing the unreliability of these tests.

The bottom line about the accuracy of breathalyzer tests is that having a DUI lawyer on your side can be critical to pinpointing the unreliability of these tests.

In some cases, having certain medical conditions may end up impacting the accuracy of breathalyzer tests. In particular, the following are just some of the medical conditions that can make the results of breathalyzers inaccurate:

  • Diabetes – Diabetics can have elevated levels of ketones in their blood, and breathalyzers can falsely identify ketones as ethyl alcohol, rendering higher BAC results than are actually warranted.
  • GERD or acid reflux – People who have conditions that result in acid reflux can also end up having falsely high BAC reads from breathalyzers, as these devices can misread acid in the mouth as ethyl alcohol from deep in the lungs.

There can be other medical conditions (or even lifestyle factors) that may impact the accuracy of breathalyzer tests, so it’s critical to consult an experienced defense attorney if:

  • You’ve been charged with a DUI.
  • You want the strongest possible defense.
  • You believe that the accuracy of breathalyzer tests in your case may have been compromised.

6 – Only administering one breath test

The vast majority of DUI and breath testing experts agree that:

  • Administering one breathalyzer test alone on a person suspected of DUI is not reliable.
  • Variance across the results of breathalyzer tests can be as much as +/- 12.5 percent.
  • As a result, at least two breathalyzer tests should be administered on DUI suspects in order to obtain more reliable BAC results.

Additionally, law enforcement officials are generally required to detail in police reports for DUI stops how many breath tests were administered, what the results of each of these tests were, how long the officer waited in between testing and whether the breathalyzer device was recalibrated before retesting a suspect’s BAC.

When only one breath test was administered during a DUI stop (and/or any of the above details may be missing from police reports), there can be room to argue that the accuracy of breathalyzer tests has been compromised.

The Bottom Line about the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Tests

The bottom line when it comes to the accuracy of breathalyzer tests is that various factors can render the results of these tests unreliable and having an experienced defense attorney on your side, reviewing police’s methods and tactics, can be critical to:

  • Getting the results of breathalyzer tests thrown out of court
  • Getting DUI charges dismissed whenever possible
  • Favorably resolving DUI cases for the accused so they can move on with their lives.
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. For more than 16 years, we have been dedicated to the pursuit of justice in every case we oversee, and our experience, dedication and extensive knowledge of the law makes us effective at helping our clients obtain the best possible outcomes to their DUI and other criminal cases.

To learn more about your rights and how we can help you, set up an initial consultation with us today by calling (334) 834-2000 or emailing 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