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Are breath tests ever wrong?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2024 | DUI

Don’t assume that the breath test the police give you is guaranteed to be right. It may be. And the police certainly may act as if they are going to use the results of that test in court. But that doesn’t guarantee that those results are accurate or that they’ll hold up.

Why would a breath test be wrong? Below are a few potential reasons to consider.

Lack of maintenance

Upkeep and maintenance are needed to ensure that breath tests are in working condition. A test that has been ignored and neglected could be completely inaccurate. Often, police officers have a set schedule for when they should calibrate the devices and check them for accuracy. If they haven’t done so, there’s no telling whether the results from your test are correct or not.

Lack of training

Sometimes, police officers just don’t have the training to administer the test correctly. Maybe they weren’t supposed to give out the test, but they did it anyway. Maybe they committed crucial mistakes while administering it that invalidated the results. No matter how accurate a scientific tool is, it is only as good as the person who is using it.

Outside factors

Additionally, there are things that can trick a breath test into showing a false positive. Perhaps you recently used mouthwash with alcohol in it, or perhaps you burped during the breath test. Either of these issues can put more alcohol content in your mouth so that the reading doesn’t accurately reflect the content in your blood.

For all these reasons and more, it’s very important to know about your criminal defense options when facing charges.