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A breath test can be wrong: Here’s how

You left a party in Philadelphia and decided to drive home. You didn’t have much to drink, so you decided it was safe to go back yourself without hiring a taxi or asking someone else to take you home.

On your way, you had to swerve to avoid something on the road. Moments later, you saw the red and blue lights of the police. You pulled over, and, as expected, they believed you had too much to drink.

What was most surprising was that your breath test came back very high despite drinking only a small amount. However, before you resign yourself to accepting the penalties and charges, you should know that it’s possible for the breath test to be wrong.

How can a Breathalyzer test be inaccurate?

There are several factors that can result in a breath test being inaccurate including:

  • Environmental factors such as the presence of chemicals, varnish or paint fumes
  • Human error, such as not performing or giving the test correctly
  • Software errors, where the Breathalyzer has a bug or glitch
  • Foreign substances in the body that read as alcohol, like some breath fresheners, toothache medicines and mouthwashes containing alcohol
  • Calibration, which must be performed regularly to maintain the accuracy of the breath test

If the test does not seem accurate, make sure you mention this to your attorney. There are many things that the police officer has to do to make sure the breath test is accurate, and if they did not calibrate it recently or if they did not give you the test correctly, you may be able to get the breath test’s evidence removed from the case.

Accuracy is essential in DUI cases, because without it, innocent people could face significant penalties and hardships. Most of the time, you’ll receive one or two breath tests at the time of a traffic stop and then again at the police station or hospital. The comparison of those tests can help your attorney see if they were accurate or performed correctly. If not, then your attorney can use this to help defend you.

DUIs do have the potential to change many aspects of your life, so if you face one, it’s essential to get in touch with your attorney before being interviewed by the police. You don’t want to say or do anything that might implicate you or affirm your guilt. Your attorney will help guide you to a resolution that works for your case.


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