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How a Breathalyzer Result Might Be Inaccurate

Jan. 31, 2017

Florida motorists who take a Breathalyzer test after being pulled over might think that the results of the test will be dispositive. However, those whose Breathalyzer tests show that they are not over the legal alcohol limit might still be convicted of drunk driving while others might fail but be acquitted.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified 20 signs of impaired driving. Police who observe some of those signs have the basis to take a person into custody. An officer’s testimony, video footage and a driver’s own statement are all admissible as evidence. Even a driver’s demeanor, whether uncooperative or overly effusive, could be considered suspicious. A driver who is asked how much they have had to drink is not obligated to respond and might want to consult an attorney before answering any questions.

However, if a person refuses a Breathalyzer test, this will generally lead to the suspension of their driver’s license. Breathalyzer tests are not 100 percent accurate. Results might be higher as a result of alcohol in the esophagus or mouth. If a person has a test an hour after being taken into custody, the BAC might have risen or fallen in that time. Field sobriety tests may also be misleading.

As this information demonstrates, people who are facing drunk driving charges should not necessarily assume that they have no recourse if they fail the test. However, these charges should always be taken seriously. In addition to legal problems, a DUI could cause problems in a person’s career or personal life. People might want to discuss their situation with an attorney to find out their options.