The breathalyzer is the most common chemical test used to determine blood
alcohol content. These tests are generally fairly accurate, easy to conduct,
give results quickly, and are non-invasive to those taking them unlike
blood or urine tests. However, while many people think a breathalyzer
can’t be fooled, they’re far from perfect and there are several
ways the integrity of a breathalyzer test can be thrown into doubt. This
is a problem for your prosecution because if there is even a shred of
doubt as to the integrity of a piece of evidence, it can’t be submitted
in court to be used against you.
On this blog, we’ll discuss a few of the ways your breathalyzer test
could be ruled inaccurate on this Riverside DUI attorney’s blog.
As with any other mechanical measurement machine, it needs to be properly
calibrated in order to produce accurate results. Calibration can only
be done by properly-certified individuals in controlled environments and
the process must be followed exactly in order to produce results that
are within an acceptable margin of error. Even a single mistake in this
calibration can jeopardize the results of your test and thus throw the
integrity of the evidence into question.
a notable case in Colorado a little while back where this exact situation happened: a lack of proper
certification as to the calibration of breathalyzer machines threw the
thousands of convicted individuals into question.
Breathalyzer machines have become pretty foolproof in terms of operating
them correctly: computers and machines now do most of the hard part, making
them simple to use. However, a trained and competent individual still
needs to administer the test or else the results could be skewed. If there
were any errors in the testing method, your test accuracy could be voided
and the evidence collected would need to be thrown out due to a lack of
integrity. Your DUI lawyer will likely request any video footage taken
of your DUI test to figure out if the officer administering the test made
any mistakes in doing so.
In order to be intoxicated, the alcohol must enter your blood stream. This
doesn’t happen instantly. However, if you down your first drink
and immediately take a breathalyzer test, you might be surprised to find
that you fail, even though you don’t feel anything and the alcohol
hasn’t had nearly enough time to get into your system. This is the
phenomenon known as “mouth alcohol” and comes from the breathalyzer
detecting traces of the alcohol you have consumed that have not yet been
absorbed into your system because they’re still in your mouth. This
obviously isn’t impacting you, and thus you haven’t actually
committed the crime of driving under the influence because you weren’t
under the influence while driving. Even more surprising to many people:
alcohol-containing mouthwashes can also leave traces in your mouth, contributing
to breathalyzer inaccuracy.
Arrested and charged with DUI? Call
Blumenthal Law Offices to request a case evaluation as soon as possible!