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Are Breathalyzers Accurate


Breathalyzers are commonly used tools in law enforcement to measure a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, it is important to understand that there are issues surrounding the accuracy of these devices. There have been cases where breathalyzers have been challenged as unreliable due to a variety of factors including improper calibration, operator error, and interference from substances other than alcohol. In many cases, if the results of a breathalyzer are thrown out, it can result in a favorable outcome for the person accused of drunk driving.

If you have been charged with a DUI based on breathalyzer results you should to seek experienced legal counsel to investigate the accuracy of the device and build a strong defense. Contact the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo for qualified assistance in navigating the complexities of your case.

How Do Breathalyzers Work?

Before diving into the accuracy of breathalyzers, it is important to understand how these devices work. Breathalyzers measure the concentration of alcohol in a person’s breath, which is then used to estimate their BAC. When alcohol is consumed, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and expelled through the breath. The breathalyzer uses a chemical reaction that occurs between the alcohol in the breath and a sensor to determine the alcohol concentration.

There are different types of breathalyzers, including handheld devices used by law enforcement officers and larger, more accurate versions used in professional settings. These devices rely on the principle of infrared spectroscopy or electrochemical fuel cells to measure the alcohol concentration in the breath.

While breathalyzers are designed to provide an estimate of a person’s BAC, it is important to note that they are not foolproof and can be subject to errors and inaccuracies.

They Are Not Always Accurate

Despite being widely used in DUI cases, breathalyzers are not always accurate and can produce unreliable results under certain circumstances. There have been cases where breathalyzer results have been challenged successfully, leading to dismissed charges or reduced penalties. Some factors that can contribute to inaccuracies in breathalyzer results include:

Improper Calibration

Breathalyzers must be properly calibrated to ensure accurate readings. Regular maintenance and calibration are necessary to keep these devices in optimal working condition. However, there have been instances where breathalyzers were not calibrated correctly, leading to inaccurate results. It is important to have an attorney who can investigate whether the breathalyzer used in your case was properly calibrated.

Operator Error

Breathalyzers require proper training and expertise to operate effectively. If the person administering the test does not follow the correct procedures or is not adequately trained, it can result in inaccurate readings. An experienced attorney can evaluate whether operator error may have contributed to the breathalyzer results in your case.

Interference from Substances

Breathalyzers are designed to measure the alcohol concentration in a person’s breath accurately. However, they can potentially be influenced by other substances, leading to false-positive results. Substances such as mouthwash, breath fresheners, or certain medications can interfere with breathalyzer readings. An attorney with expertise in DUI defense can evaluate whether the presence of any other substances may have affected the accuracy of the breathalyzer results.

It is important to note that breathalyzer results are often considered strong evidence in DUI cases. However, that does not mean they are infallible. There are various factors that can affect the accuracy of these devices, and a skilled attorney can challenge breathalyzer results in court.

How to Challenge Breathalyzer Results

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI based on breathalyzer results, it is crucial to seek experienced legal counsel to challenge the accuracy of the device and build a strong defense. Here are some possible strategies that can be employed by an attorney to challenge breathalyzer results:

Calibration Records

An attorney can request calibration records and maintenance logs for the breathalyzer used in the case. If there are discrepancies or irregularities in the calibration records, it can cast doubt on the accuracy of the device’s readings.

Operator Training and Certification

An attorney can investigate the training and certification of the officer who administered the breathalyzer test. If the officer was not adequately trained or certified, it can be argued that their lack of expertise may have contributed to inaccurate results.

Chain of Custody

An attorney can examine the chain of custody of the breathalyzer device, ensuring that it was properly stored, handled, and maintained. Any break in the chain of custody can raise questions about the reliability of the device and the accuracy of the results.

Independent Testing

An attorney may also recommend independent testing of your breath or blood samples to compare the results with those obtained from the breathalyzer. This can help identify any discrepancies or inconsistencies in the readings and provide additional evidence to challenge the breathalyzer results.

Challenging breathalyzer results requires expertise and a deep understanding of the issues surrounding these devices. It is essential to work with an experienced DUI defense attorney who can evaluate the circumstances of your case and develop a strategy to challenge the accuracy of breathalyzer results.

Contact an Orange County DUI Defense Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in Orange County, it is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer. William W. Bruzzo has been practicing criminal law for over 30 years and is familiar with the Orange County Courts, the Judges, and the District Attorneys. His expertise in DUI defense and his knowledge of how breathalyzers work can help him challenge the accuracy of breathalyzer results and strive for the best possible outcome for his clients.

To schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo, call (714) 547-4636 or contact us online. Take the proactive step of securing legal representation and ensure that your rights are protected. Don’t face DUI charges alone, contact us today for assistance in navigating the complexities of your case.

Remember, when it comes to breathalyzer accuracy and DUI defense, having a knowledgeable attorney by your side can make all the difference.

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