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Can a DUI Breathalyzer test be wrong?

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2022 | dui

If you’re stopped by the police and they ask you to take a Breathalyzer test, you may be frustrated that they’re going to test you for drunk driving. If you refuse, you could lose your license, so you probably agreed to take the test thinking that it would come back negative and that you’d be on your way.

Unfortunately, your test didn’t come back as low as expected. Now, you’re dealing with a real risk of a DUI conviction even though you don’t believe your blood alcohol concentration should have been high enough to result in charges. What can you do? Could the test have been wrong?

Breathalyzer tests can be inaccurate

It’s the reality that Breathalyzer tests can be inaccurate. There are a few reasons that one might be inaccurate, including:

  • Not being given correctly or by someone trained to use the device.
  • Burping or having indigestion during the test.
  • Poor calibration.

On top of these issues, it’s possible that your Breathalyzer test could be accurate but that the results aren’t actually from you drinking alcohol. You could have diabetes or autobrewery syndrome, both of which can result in high BAC results. You could have used alcohol-based mouthwash or have eaten something containing alcohol unknowingly, which could then result in a high BAC result.

What can you do to challenge a Breathalyzer test?

It is possible to challenge a Breathalyzer test. When you talk to your attorney, make sure you discuss all your medical conditions, what you ate that day, how the test was performed and the time between tests. Your attorney will look into if the officer was trained to perform the test, and they will also go through records to make sure the test was recently calibrated.

Beyond this, your attorney will make sure that the traffic stop itself was legal and legitimate. If it wasn’t, and if the officer did not have reason to perform the testing, then the entire case could end up being thrown out.

It is possible to defend yourself against a DUI. It’s wise to say nothing to the police until you have an opportunity to go over your rights.