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What can affect the accuracy of a Breathalyzer test?

Georgia criminal law judges know that Breathalyzer test results are not always accurate. Criminal defense lawyers know this, too. As such, if your drunk driving allegations hinge upon the accuracy of your Breathalyzer test results, your criminal lawyer will likely try to show why your test results may not be accurate.

This article will discuss some of the primary ways that Breathalyzer results could be less than correct.

Here’s why your Breathalyzer test result might be wrong

Police officers and those subjected to Breathalyzer tests need to remember that these machines are not infallible and their results can be corrupted by outside factors. Here are a few common reasons for a failed or inaccurate breath test:

  • Software bugs: Sometimes Breathalyzer software can have glitches and bugs that result in a false positive.
  • Officer error: The officer administering the test could make an error in using the device.
  • Inconsistent results: Breathalyzer tests don’t yield the same exact results every time, so officers need to conduct multiple tests to reveal a reliable average.
  • External factors: Things like chemicals, paint fumes, varnishes, plastics and adhesives can influence the accuracy of a Breathalyzer test and render a false positive.
  • Foreign substances: Sometimes food items or other substances that contain alcohol could be in the mouth, and that might result in a false positive. Mouthwashes, toothache medicines, breath fresheners and various medicines could corrupt the results.
  • Bad calibrations: Breathalyzers need to be calibrated on a regular basis and the batteries need to be replaced to make sure their results are accurate.

Check for issues that could result in a false breath test

By reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding your breath test carefully, you might be able to reveal certain things that could have resulted in a bad reading on the Breathalyzer device the officer used to test you. Never take for granted that your breath test results were accurate, especially if your test showed you at the borderline of being too drunk to drive.