Are breath tests always accurate?

Are breath tests always accurate?

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2021 | DWI Charges |

If law enforcement stops you on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, they may ask you to submit to a breath test to determine your blood alcohol concentration level. Based on the results of such tests, the authorities may arrest and charge you with drunk driving.

According to WebMD.com, however, alcohol breath tests do not always return accurate readings. Therefore, you may find yourself facing DWI charges without getting behind the wheel while drunk.

Device-related factors

Some factors that may affect the accuracy of alcohol breath tests tie to the devices used for such testing. Depending on the device type, breath test machines may require software updates and regular calibration. Failure to provide such maintenance may result in reading errors. Low battery or charge levels may also affect the functioning of such devices, and thus, may cause inaccurate results, which may lead to an unnecessary arrest.

Human-related factors

Human factors may also contribute to inaccurate breath test results. For example, smoking before a breath alcohol test may affect the results. If you had a drink within 15 minutes of providing a breath sample or used a product containing alcohol, such as mouthwash, the test may pick up on trace amounts of alcohol in your mouth. Consequently, the device may get an inaccurate reading.

Failing a breath test when stopped by law enforcement may result in a drunk driving charge, which may have serious implications on your present, as well as on your future. A legal representative may consider all factors, including the possibility of inaccurate breath test results, in helping you defend against the charges you face.