Breath testing devices are heavily relied on by the courts and by law enforcement, but unless proper rules and procedures are carefully followed, the results can be unfairly skewed.
Verification of Calibration
Breath testing machines work by measuring small amounts of alcohol droplets suspended in a person’s breath. The machine then converts the number to determine how much alcohol would be in 210 liters of the person’s breath. Law enforcement officers must periodically make sure the machine is accurately measuring the amount of alcohol, and is doing a correct mathematical conversion.
Two Tests within Accuracy Limits
Most jurisdictions require that law enforcement officers have DUI suspects provide two breath samples within a short period of time. If the two samples have too much discrepancy between the results, it indicates that either the machine is not working properly, or the results were contaminated in some way.
If there is alcohol in your mouth when you blow into a breath-testing device, the results will not be an accurate measurement of your breath alcohol level. Before having you blowing into a breath-testing machine, officers must put on a clean mouth tube, and must watch you to make sure you don’t put anything in your mouth. The officer must also make sure that you are not belching or bringing stomach contents into your mouth.
A growing number of jurisdictions recognize that if a person is running a fever when he blows into a breath-testing device, he will get a higher reading than a person who does not have a fever.
Speak to a Lawyer
Many of the rules regarding breath testers are complicated and sometimes getting access to the information can be difficult. A DUI attorney can review your case to make sure all the rules and procedures were followed correctly in your case.