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Breath tests are not always accurate

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2021 | Drunk Driving Offenses |

When a person is suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol in North Carolina, it is common practice for police to administer a Breathalyzer test. It is a simple test in which a breath sample is taken and analyzed to determine one’s blood alcohol concentration percentage. Breath tests are generally considered to be highly accurate, but the truth is, they aren’t.

Many things can affect the accuracy

Several things can affect the accuracy of a breath test. The software can fail. Lack of proper maintenance can produce calibration issues. The officer administering the test may lack proper training on the device. A few other things that can mess with breath test results include:

  • Environmental factors
  • Certain medications
  • Various mouth cleaning/freshening products

All of the above can cause the breath test to provide a higher BAC readout than is actually the case. Unfortunately, it isn’t until after a person is arrested and charged with DWI that issues with the breath test results come to light. Even then, it can take a lot of work to have the results tossed.

Get help

North Carolina residents charged with driving while intoxicated based on the results of breath tests do have every right to question test accuracy. Fighting the results may prove a challenging feat, but it is possible to do successfully, which can greatly help one’s case — resulting in a case dismissal or, at least, a reduction in charges and penalties. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help one question the evidence and take other steps to fight for the best possible outcome.