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What factors could affect the accuracy of a Breathalyzer test?

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | DWI

When Minnesota police notice a driver exhibiting certain behaviors, such as swerving or driving at inconsistent speeds, they may initiate a traffic stop for suspected drunk driving. The officer will talk with the driver to determine if there are additional steps to take, including the administration of field sobriety tests. If the driver does not pass the sobriety tests, the officer will likely then administer a Breathalyzer test. 

These tests use handheld devices into which a driver will breathe. They measure the amount of alcohol a person has in his or her system, and whether or not an officer places the driver under arrest will likely depend on the results of this test. It is extremely important to ensure that all Breathalyzer devices are accurate and used properly. Failure to do this could result in inaccurate readings and a false arrest. 

External factors and their impact on test results 

There are specific external factors that could impact the results of your Breathalyzer test. If there is evidence that the results were not accurate, it could be grounds to challenge the entire case against you. Some factors that may affect the reading on a Breathalyzer device include: 

  • Calibration — These devices require regular calibration in order to function properly and give accurate results. 
  • Software — If the software is not functioning properly or is out of date, it could affect the results of the test. 
  • Human error — Police should receive training on how to use these devices and administer the tests in a way that gives accurate results. 
  • Consistency — Police should perform several tests in order to provide consistent results that are accurate. 

If there is a problem with the results of your Breathalyzer test, you could find yourself under arrest and facing invalid criminal charges. A careful look at the evidence in the prosecution’s case and other details can help you understand what factors may have affected your situation. 

The best defense strategy for you 

When facing drunk driving charges, your future is at stake. Even if there are issues with the case against you, it will be critical for you to take your situation seriously and pursue the best possible outcome. Starting with an assessment of your case, you can discover the defense options available to you and fight the charges you are facing. If there are issues with the validity of the Breathalyzer test results, you may have grounds to challenge the entire case against you.