If you’re pulled over for suspicion of operating while under the influence (OUI), the officer will take a variety of steps to determine if you’ve consumed too much alcohol to operate a motor vehicle.
In addition to field sobriety tests, the officer may ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer test. This is designed to provide your blood alcohol content level. From there, the officer can decide if it’s over or under the legal limit.
Are Breathalyzer results always accurate?
While police want you to believe that Breathalyzer results are always accurate, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it’s a good idea to fight the results in court, as you may be able to prove that they were inaccurate.
Here are some things to consider:
- Calibration and maintenance are a must: With proper calibration and maintenance, there’s a greater chance of a Breathalyzer test returning improper results. The authorities must be able to prove that they have calibrated and maintained the equipment per basic guidelines.
- Certification: Did you know that some police officers may not be certified to use a particular Breathalyzer device? In this case, they may not administer it appropriately, which can result in an inaccurate reading.
- The officer must consider the condition of the subject: For example, if you’re burping or vomiting, there’s no way to get an accurate reading.
- The Breathalyzer test must capture two measurable readings: The officer can’t take one reading and move on. They must take two readings, which must be within .02 of each other.
If you took a Breathalyzer test that resulted in your arrest, take mental notes regarding the process. Should you believe that the officer acted in an inappropriate manner, share that information with your legal team as you prepare for your day in court.
Don’t let anyone tell you that the results of a Breathalyzer test are always 100% accurate. There are many reasons why this isn’t true, and you may be able to make that part of your defense strategy.
Remember, an OUI arrest and formal charges don’t necessarily result in a conviction and associated penalties.