Breathalyzers may be incorrect up to 50 percent of the time when compared with the results of an actual blood test, according to the National Motorists Association. Considering that breathalyzers are the main indication police officers use to make a DUI arrest, this margin of error is concerning.
Some sources have even reported at least 23 percent of drivers who are charged with a DUI are arrested on an inaccurate breathalyzer score. Here are five common reasons why breathalyzer tests could be inaccurate.
1. What’s in your mouth
Low-cost breathalyzers are likely to have more basic features. If the quality is especially low, the devise’s sensitivity may trouble distinguishing alcohol from other chemicals that have been in your mouth.
Chemical compounds in the mouth from vomit, acid reflux, mouthwash or blood could throw off the results of a breathalyzer test.
2. User error
Breathalyzer tests that are not properly administered also pose a risk of skewing the score. If the person being tested is breathing unevenly, burps or hiccups, the device won’t have a full, uncontaminated breath to examine.
3. When you consumed the alcohol
Alcohol is not fully absorbed into the body in an instant. Depending on how long ago it was ingested, the breathalyzer reading may or may not be able to catch the full BAC the person being tested will reach.
4. Different types of breathalyzers
There are different grades of breathalyzers and different types of technologies used to make them. Electrochemical fuel-cell technology has the most success with producing accurate results.
5. Technology malfunction
Breathalyzers are not opposed to the same technology malfunctions any other device may experience, especially if they get wet, hot, cold or low on power.
Fight false DUI charges
If you believe that the results of a breathalyzer have lead you or someone you know to face unjust DUI charges, contact a criminal defense attorney to get help with your case. A lawyer can help you prove the inaccuracies of the evidence by building an expert defense case.