Are breathalyzer tests always accurate?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | DUI |

You were stopped and pulled over when driving in Florida. Law enforcement claimed that they had reason to believe that you may have been impaired when driving. You cooperated and took part in a roadside breathalyzer test.

Unfortunately, the test found that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was over the legal limit of 0.08%. Consequently, you were charged with driving under the influence (DUI). You know that you hadn’t been drinking at the time, so how could this result have been possible? Breathalyzer tests are not always accurate.

The breathalyzer may not have been calibrated

As with any form of scientific test, calibration is vital. Law enforcement must maintain equipment that they use in the field, and breathalyzer tests are no exception. If a breathalyzer has not been calibrated for some time, then it is likely to emit inaccurate results, meaning that you could face unjustified charges if an uncalibrated machine was used in your case.

A breathalyzer must be used appropriately

Even a perfectly calibrated breathalyzer test will only give accurate results if it is used appropriately. Officers must undergo training before using such items. This knowledge allows them to apply a test in the appropriate manner and increase the chances of an accurate result.

Other factors

In some cases, it is necessary for officers to allow a fifteen-minute interval before conducting a breathalyzer test. This might be the case if you have hiccupped, smoked or vomited around the time you were pulled over. Residual alcohol does not necessarily match your BAC, and officers should account for this.

Test results on calibrated roadside tests can be accurate, but they are not foolproof. By seeking experienced legal guidance, you can challenge any evidence, including breathalyzer tests, that may be used against you.