Are DUI Breath Tests Accurate?

When an officer pulls a suspected drunk driver over during a traffic stop, he or she may ask the driver to take a roadside breath test. Since most states, including Arizona, have an implied consent law, refusing a BAC test could result in an automatic license suspension. But are these tests even an accurate way to measure BAC? Unfortunately, they are not.

Why Breath Tests are Unreliable

Breath tests can be performed on the road during a traffic stop or at a police station after an arrest. The breathalyzer involves blowing into a machine that analyzes how much alcohol is contained in your breath. This is a very indirect method of determining BAC, as the results are not based on how much alcohol is actually in the body. Depending on body temperature and respiration rate, the results of the test can easily be skewed.

Additionally, there are a number of other factors that could throw off the results of a breath test. Certain mouthwashes, breath fresheners, and toothache medicines, or any other substance containing alcohol, could cause an inaccurate reading. Even a burp or regurgitation of stomach acid just prior to or during the test can skew results.

This is not to mention the problem of maintenance. Breathalyzer machines must be routinely maintained and calibrated to keep them accurate, but many times they are not. If a breath testing machine malfunctions, it could result in a false-positive reading, and as a consequence you could face penalties that you may not even deserve.

Experienced DUI Defense in Phoenix, AZ

A DUI in Arizona is a serious matter that is punishable by fines, jail time, suspension of driving privileges, and Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installation. With so much at stake, it is in your best interests to get in touch with an experienced a Phoenix DUI attorney at Suzuki Law Offices After a thorough investigation of your case, we can determine the best course of defense for your unique situation. Often, this involves challenging the results of unreliable breath tests.

If you have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Arizona, call Suzuki Law Offices today at (602) 842-6762 to request a free case review.


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