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3 reasons why Breathalyzer tests are not always accurate

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | DUI/DWI

Gaining a conviction for a DUI offense can have serious repercussions for a person’s life. For example, an individual may be solely dependent on driving for career purposes. Additionally, not having road privileges can mean having to make significant adjustments to the schedule of children. For instance, allowances might have to be made for them to be picked up and dropped off from school.

Often, Breathalyzer tests are brought forward as key evidence in DUI cases. While this technology represents one of the more accurate ways to get a measure of blood alcohol content, it is not completely flawless. Outlined below are three reasons why Breathalyzer tests are not always accurate.

Interference from outside sources

Interference from other machinery has the potential to impede the functionality of Breathalyzers. For example, police radios, as well as other communication equipment, may cause Breathalyzer technology to malfunction. Such errors could lead to wrongful suspicions, charges, and convictions further down the line.

Poor maintenance or calibration

In order to achieve optimal performance, Breathalyzer equipment must be operated, calibrated and maintained appropriately. Where incorrect procedures have been carried out, the results of a test could be skewed. This has the potential to make them unreliable and therefore inadmissible as evidence in court.

Exposure to certain substances

In certain scenarios, what a driver has been exposed to before taking a test could have some impact on the results. For example, certain items such as paint thinner might influence results. Additionally, common products such as mouthwash may contain alcohol. If such items have been consumed in the period before a test, the results may be impacted.

When facing DUI charges in Minnesota, it is important to remember that you have legal rights. Technology is not always perfect and every individual should be afforded the presumption of innocence.