When you are stopped by a police officer and they suspect you may be driving under the influence of alcohol, they will most likely request that you submit to a blood alcohol test, usually in the form of a portable breathalyzer. If the test shows that your BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, is over 0.08%, you will likely be arrested and charged with a DUI. Breathalyzer tests can make for easy convictions if the results are not challenged, but it’s crucial to understand that breathalyzer test results might not always be accurate.
Why a Breathalyzer Test Result Might Not Be Correct
Breathalyzers are machines just like any other and are subject to malfunction. In addition to that, they must be kept in proper working order. Here are some reasons that your breathalyzer test results may not be accurate.
- The officer did not conduct the test properly. Police officers have a detailed set of instructions as to how they are to perform a breathalyzer test. Failure to adhere to these guidelines can result in a skewed test result. For example, if the officer did not observe you for twenty minutes prior to the test and you took a drink of your soda while waiting for the officer, the test results might be higher.
- You have a medical condition. Some medical conditions can cause an increased level of alcohol in the mouth. One of the most well-known and common conditions to cause this is acid reflux, or GERD. The reflux of stomach contents can increase your BAC test result, even though your actual BAC is likely lower than what is shown on the test.
- The officer did not calibrate his or her equipment according to manufacturer guidelines. Breathalyzer manufacturers have a recommended calibration schedule and process that must be adhered to by all officers. Failure to properly calibrate the machine according to manufacturer specifications can cause test results to be unreliable and likely inaccurate.
If your breathalyzer test results indicated that you were intoxicated behind the wheel of your car and you were arrested, you may have good reason to challenge those test results. An attorney can help you illustrate why the test results were likely inaccurate. Your lawyer can also use a number of other defense strategies to increase the chances that your case is dismissed or that the penalties are reduced.
Contact T. Martin Knopes, P.A. Today
If you were arrested for a DUI in Florida, don’t wait to get legal help. Call attorney T. Martin Knopes, P.A. today for a consultation at (850) 683-0700.