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Factors that might impact the accuracy of a breath test

Getting pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving can be a harrowing experience, especially if the law enforcement official who does so decides to administer a breath test. Breath tests are given using a device called a breathalyzer, which is intended to give authorities an idea of your level of impairment by reading the amount of alcohol in your body. While breathalyzers, if used and administered properly, are highly accurate, they are not foolproof, and if they are not properly maintained and tested for accuracy, the results they produce may be invalid.

Your breath test results may not be accurate if:

The breathalyzer was improperly calibrated

To ensure proper operation, breathalyzers have to be calibrated at regular intervals. If you believe your breath test results were incorrect because of a poorly calibrated breathalyzer, an attorney may be able to subpoena the calibration records to determine whether it was in proper working order when you were tested.

Electronic interference took place

Electronic interference can also affect the results of your breath test. Electronic interference may occur because of cell phone or radio waves or towers, and it also may result from something in the car of the law enforcement official conducting your test.

You burped or threw up before taking the test

Certain bodily functions, such as burping or throwing up, also have the capacity to affect the results of your breath test. Today's authorities are aware of this, and they are trained to watch you closely in the moments leading up to your test to make sure you do not burp or vomit. If either of these actions occurs, they are supposed to wait for a certain amount of time before they may attempt to administer the breath test again.

You have specific health conditions, among them diabetes

If you submit to a breath test and are a diabetic, know that your disease can impact your breathalyzer test results. Acetone that appears in your body because of your condition may be picked up by the breath test device, and its presence can lead authorities to believe you have consumed alcohol even if you have not.

This is just a sampling of the types of factors that may affect the overall accuracy of your breath test. If you have been charged with drunk driving because of what you believe are false breath test results, an attorney may be able to assist you in pleading as well as building your case for the best outcome.

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