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Breathalyzers are often wrong

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2019 | Drunk Driving |

If an officer arrested you based on a reading from a breathalyzer, then you may find it interesting to learn that those tests are often wrong. Even more frustrating is that the larger machines Louisiana law enforcement uses to test your blood alcohol content at the jail are also not always accurate. This could pose as a good defense if you can prove the machine was not working properly at the time of your arrest.

The New York Times explains that these machines are subject to issues just like any other machine. That means that they may not provide an accurate BAC reading. This is a well-known issue, and many courts around the country have thrown out cases due to testing machine errors. However, in all states, if you refuse to take the test, you face penalties.

Portable devices

The portable devices officers use during a traffic stop are the most unreliable. There are many ways that you can affect the results and end up in handcuffs even if you have had nothing to drink. Breath mints and toothpaste can produce a false positive. If you are an older adult, you may not be able to produce enough breath to activate the test. These issues are why courts do not usually accept these tests as evidence.

Machine issues

The results that courts will accept come from the larger machines at the jail where you may take a test after an arrest. These machines have their own issues, though. They are a scientific instrument, so precision is essential. Yet, many places do not correctly calibrate them or maintain them, which leads to inaccurate results.

As a machine, they also are subject to user error. If someone does not know how to use it, it may skew the results. Programming issues are another problem. Some machines may also have safeguards disabled, which will mess with accuracy.

If the test you take while under the custody of law enforcement is not fair, then it should not be evidence when you go to court. It is vital to look into the machine used in your case to ensure that it is valid evidence.