Dallas DWI Attorney – Articles

Inaccurate Breathalyzer Results

Breathalyzers are the standard machine law enforcement agencies use to prove a citizen was operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08% or higher. Generally, the results are accurate; however, as a recent Washington State Supreme Court Case ruled, Breathalyzers are subject to error and must be properly calibrated for the results to be admissible in court as evidence. In further examination of potential measurement errors, several avenues of inaccuracy become clear.

Breathalyzers are very sensitive to temperature and must be calibrated to account for the surrounding air temperature. The machine’s thermometer must be maintained regularly or inaccurate BAC readings can occur. In addition, improper use or application of the Breathalyzer by a law enforcement officer during a field test can yield imprecise results.

Another major problem in obtaining accurate results is the non-specific analysis of Breathalyzers. The machines measure levels of ethyl alcohol; however, several other substances can mimic the structure of ethyl alcohol and produce false results. One compound of ethyl alcohol, acetone, is found at very high levels in both dieters and diabetics according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and could potentially trigger an incorrect reading. Newer models of Breathalyzers have eradicated this problem. If you have been convicted of a DWI or DUI, the model of Breathalyzer used to measure your BAC should be investigated or you could have been falsely accused of driving under the influence.

If you have been arrested for an alcohol-related driving offense and need a Dallas drunk driving lawyer in Dallas, contact Mark T. Lassiter today.


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