Seeing flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror while on the way home can ruin a nice evening out. The law enforcement officer comes to your window, speaks to you for a moment and decides to initiate sobriety tests. Before you know it, you are taking a Breathalyzer test, and the results lead to your arrest and booking. This can be a shocking turn of events, especially if you are certain you did not have enough alcohol in your system to merit an arrest.
At this point, you know it’s important to protect yourself through a strong defense plan. It is possible the results of your breath test were not accurate, leading to an invalid arrest and criminal charges. If you think a faulty Breathalyzer testaffected your criminal case, you have the right to fight back and challenge the prosecution’s case. There are several factors that could affect the overall accuracy of these devices.
Accuracy of Breathalyzer tests
A Breathalyzer is a portable device law enforcement uses to determine if a driver has a blood alcohol content over the legal limit. A driver will breathe into it, typically at the site of the traffic stop or at the police station. These devices require careful handling, regular maintenance and knowledgeable use or else its results may be inaccurate. Some of the things that could affect the results of a Breathalyzer test include:
- Lack of calibration – These devices need regular maintenance and new batteries on a regular basis.
- Software problems – Breathalyzers operate using a software system, which can sometimes have glitches that may affect results.
- Substances in the mouth – Things such as mouthwash and toothache medication can affect the results of a Breathalyzer test.
- Human error – When there is a problem with the administration of the test or the officer does not know how to properly use it, it can skew results.
- Lack of consistent results – To ensure the accuracy of results, law enforcement should administer tests several times.
- Other factors – Various other environmental and external factors could affect the results of the test and the entire case against you.
If you believe the case against you is invalid because of inaccurate test results, you will find it beneficial to work with an experienced Colorado defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. With help, it is possible to challenge the case against you and raise questions about the accuracy of the Breathalyzer device.