Are Breathalyzers Always Accurate?

Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Fairfax, Leesburg & Manassas, Virginia

Posted: June 23, 2020
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Image of a police officer holding a breathalyzer While breathalyzers are frequently used in DUI cases to indicate the intoxication level of the accused driver, they are not completely accurate. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, it’s important to understand when breathalyzers can provide false readings. It could be the difference between having the charges dismissed and spending time behind bars.

At the Gordon Law Firm, PC, our experienced DUI lawyers provide diligent, caring, and effective representation in a range of criminal law matters. We’ve helped more than 5,000 clients in traffic and criminal cases. When you choose our firm, you’ll work directly with our lawyers through each step of your case, not a paralegal or assistant. We know the stakes involved; your career and record may be at risk. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best outcome in your case.

What Causes Inaccurate Breathalyzer Results?

A study by the National Motorists Association found a 50 percent margin of error when comparing breathalyzer results to actual blood alcohol content. In fact, a number of contributing factors can cause an inaccurate breathalyzer reading, such as:

  • Improper machine calibration
  • Operator error
  • Breathing rate
  • Body temperature
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Low-carb diets
  • Mouthwash
  • Vomiting
  • Burping
  • Acid reflux

Officers know that breathalyzers are vulnerable to error. Because of this, some will try to obtain a consistent result by taking several readings. However, even multiple readings cannot guarantee accurate results.

When Should You Challenge Breathalyzer Results?

Challenging the accuracy of a breathalyzer test may not help your case if the results were significantly higher than the 0.08% legal blood alcohol limit. But if you blow just slightly over the legal BAC limit, an argument could be made that your results are inaccurate, and your case could get thrown out.

The best way to determine whether your breathalyzer results should be challenged is to discuss your case for free with an experienced DUI lawyer at the Gordon Law Firm, PC. We have the skill, resources, and successful track record you can trust to build your strongest defense.

Call Now For a Free DUI Defense Case Evaluation

A DUI/DWI conviction can carry serious consequences for your future. You may be facing significant fines, higher insurance premiums, jail time, and a criminal record that will follow you for years. If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, call the Gordon Law Firm, PC today at 703-218-8416. We welcome clients from Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County, including Manassas, Leesburg, and Fairfax.

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