A Criminal Defense Lawyer Who Is Dedicated To Professionalism With A Personal Touch

Understanding the factors that affect breath test accuracy

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2021 | Dui Charges

The crux of many driving under the influence cases, alcohol breath tests may not always yield accurate results. Law enforcement may ask people suspected of drunk driving to submit to alcohol breath tests to determine their blood alcohol concentration levels. Readings over the legal limit may result in DUI arrests.

Understanding the factors that affect breath test readings may help drivers protect themselves from unnecessary drunk driving charges.

Software glitches

According to WebMD.com, breath tests may return inaccurate BAC readings due to issues with the device software. For example, programming errors or glitches in the program’s writing may lead to incorrectly high or low results.

Human-related issues

Issues relating to the person providing the breath sample for testing may also affect breath test results. Smoking or using products containing alcohol, such as breath fresheners or mouthwash, may skew the device readings. Breath testing devices may also pick up trace amounts of alcohol in people’s mouths if they had a drink within 15 minutes of the test. Consequently, they may yield falsely high readings.

Maintenance issues

According to the New York Times, alcohol breath tests may yield inaccurate results if not properly maintained. Law enforcement charged with keeping breath test devices properly calibrated may lack experience, which may lead to incorrect readings. In some cases, incorrectly calibrated breath test devices give readings up to 40% higher than the actual BAC level.

DUI charges may send people’s lives down paths they never expected. Defending against such charges may include examining every aspect of their arrests, including questioning the accuracy of their alcohol breath tests.