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Why your Breathalyzer results may not be accurate

If you were pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving and the Breathalyzer test you took on the side of the road indicated that you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08 percent, you may think there's no way you can fight that. However, Georgia DUI attorneys dispute Breathalyzer results regularly.

These tools rely on sensor technologies and are administered by humans. Neither is immune to error.

Not all Breathalyzer are created equal. Some are more easily impacted by outside factors than others. These can cause false positives or results that don't reflect a person's true BAC. For example, some breath fresheners, mouthwashes and toothache remedies contain alcohol. They can impact Breathalyzer results because they emit alcohol vapor that doesn't reflect how much alcohol is in a person's body.

Even environmental factors can influence a Breathalyzer reading. Fumes from paint, varnishes, adhesives and other items can cause false positives.

Further, Breathalyzer have to be properly maintained, calibrated and used on a regular basis. If they aren't, their results may be flawed. Sometimes, even if they are maintained correctly, a software glitch can cause inaccurate results.

Law enforcement officers have to be trained in how to maintain Breathalyzer and administer tests. If an officer doesn't use the correct procedures when giving someone a Breathalyzer test, the reading may be wrong.

Most people can't be expected to know whether a Breathalyzer tool was properly calibrated and used correctly by an officer. However, experienced Georgia DUI attorneys know what information to ask for to help determine whether the results can be trusted.

Source: BACTrack, "Are Breathalyzers Accurate?," accessed June 07, 2018