What can impact Breathalyzer accuracy?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2019 | criminal defense |

The cost of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is severe. However, a recent study showed that South Dakota actually has the most lenient DUI laws in the country. A wide variety of factors came into consideration for this study, including first, second and third DUI penalties

When the cops pull over a driver on suspicion of DUI, it is common for them to perform a breath test. They use a device known as a Breathalyzer to see if there are any traces of alcohol on the person’s breath. Although South Dakota has lenient laws, you still never want to find yourself in a courtroom defending yourself. If you do, there are several defenses you can make for why a Breathalyzer would give a false positive. 

Blood or vomit in your mouth

Having any foreign substances in your mouth, such as blood or vomit, can produce a false positive. You should let authorities know in the car if you have any of these in your mouth. The cops should know to wait a set amount of time before testing you again. 

Electrical interference

Several environmental factors can influence the results of the breath test. Electrical signals are everywhere, and they can come from police radar units, handheld police transmitters and teletypes. AM and FM radio signals also emit interference that has the potential to alter the results. In the event the breath test takes place near a cell phone tower, it could possibly throw off the results. 

Improper calibration

A Breathalyzer requires routine calibration to work correctly. Additionally, the police officers need to check it every so often to ensure it still works. The police officer administering the test must have certification to use the device. If any of those are off, then it is possible for a criminal defense attorney to argue the reading.