False Breathalyzer Readings
Across the nation, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher.
For drivers under the age of 21, the legal limit varies between .01 and .02 percent, depending on the state.
In order to determine your BAC, there are three tests that a police officer may administer: breath test
, blood test, and urine test. Of the three, the breath test is the most commonly used sobriety test. However, the breath test is far from perfect.
Have you recently been arrested and charged with drunk driving because your BAC was over the legal limit
? You may need to contact a skilled DUI defense lawyer. Many DUI lawyers have been trained on how to use a breathalyzer machine and can investigate your case to determine if there was a false breathalyzer readin
There are several common sources for breathalyzer errors. Your defense attorney will investigate your case to determine if the breathalyzer machine that you were tested on was up to date on its maintenance and calibration. If the machine was not maintained or calibrated properly, the results of your breath test may be thrown out.
Breathalyzers are very sensitive to temperature
. For every one degree 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over a normal body temperature, the BAC test results go up approximately 7 percent.
Breath tests are designed to estimate a person’s BAC based on their deep lung breath sample. Unfortunately, mouth alcohol can inflate the results of the test, as the machine cannot tell the difference between mouth alcohol and lung alcoho
l. Dentures can trap alcohol in the mouth, leading to a false breathalyzer reading. Mouthwash and gum may also produce an inaccurate BAC reading.
Testing during the absorptive phase can also lead to a false reading. Your body takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to absorb alcohol after drinking. However, the alcohol is not absorbed uniformly; some parts of your body may have a higher BAC than others. Your lungs may absorb the alcohol quickly, leading to an inflated test result.
If you believe you were charged with DUI due to inflated breath test results, it is in your best interest to contact a DUI defense lawyer.
There are many other causes of false breathalyzer readings that a lawyer can discuss with you.
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