While a breathalyzer test is often used for supporting a DWI arrest, several factors can also influence the results. Therefore, the reality of the test can be challenged by an attorney.
As a result, you can “pass” a breathing test for alcohol as the result of a machine error, human error, or environmental factors. A DWI lawyer can fight for you if you’re facing inaccuracies in the testing.
A breathalyzer is used by the police to determine the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of a person charged with DWI. The legal limit is 0.08%. So, if you register a BAC at this amount or more, you’re driving over the legal limit.
A breath-testing device is designed to measure the amount of alcohol in your system from deep within the lungs. Therefore, a breathalyzer forms a correlation between the alcohol content in the breath and blood. If you try to mask the alcohol on your breath with gum or mints, it will not alter the air sample, as it originates from deep within the lungs.
With that being said, you may be able to defend a BAC reading if there were errors related to machine operation, the foods you ate, or the medications you were taking at the time of the arrest.
A false reading may occur, as well, if the police do not properly follow the rules for administering the test. These types of events can ultimately lead to the dismissal of your case.
A person may have as many as 100 compounds in an expired breath. As a result, the margin of error, according to some manufacturers, is almost 15%.
The sensors of a breathalyzer machine may be subject to false positives as well. These findings may come from non-alcoholic substances like ketones.
Ketones are manufactured when your body breaks down fat. So, if you’re following this type of low-carb diet, you may find the machine is registering a false positive. This may also happen if you’re diabetic.
You may also register a false positive if you use a mouthwash, toothache medication, or breath freshener that contains alcohol. Foods that contain alcohol–including homemade bread–can also increase a BAC reading. Smoking a cigarette can have this effect as well.
Some medicines stay in the system longer and can increase a BAC reading. For example, the inhaler, albuterol, which is used to open up the airways, lingers in the air and blood and, therefore, can skew the results of a BAC test.
Chemically, the ratio between a solid and a liquid varies widely. If you have more blood solids than aqueous content, a BAC reading will appear greater. This margin of error can range from 10% to 14%.
If you’re forced to take a breathalyzer test, you may hold your breath before you blow into the device. Doing so can increase a warmer volume of air, which can cause a jump in the BAC result. Therefore, this may happen if you’re not breathing as you regularly do or are feeling nervous. That’s why you need to hire a DWI defense attorney if you wish to prove your case and experience the best possible outcome.
Breathalyzer results may also be affected by chemicals in the environment, such as paint fumes, varnish, or adhesives. While taking a breath test around these types of fumes is slim, it still may happen.
Although the use of a breathalyzer is a standard among law enforcement personnel, some police officers may fail to observe certain regulations.
For example, they may skip or overlook certain processes that have to do with changing the mouthpiece, labeling sample tubes, or entering the correct serial numbers. If this occurs, you may be able to show your breathalyzer results were inaccurate or unreliable.
Two common errors may include failing to calibrate a breathalyzer regularly or performing the test only one time to obtain a result. Law officers need to test the breath multiple times to ensure accurate readings in court.
Have you been arrested for drunk driving? If so, now is the time to speak to an attorney about how to pass a breathing test for alcohol. In Texas, call Mendoza Law for a consultation today.
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