Factors that can affect Breathalyzer accuracy

If you are currently facing a drunk driving charge in Missouri, you may have concerns about the penalties you potentially face and how a possible conviction will impact your life. Chances are, you received your charge after blowing into a device called a Breathalyzer, and while, if calibrated and used correctly, Breathalyzers are often accurate, there are a number of factors that can throw off test results. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we are well-versed in the factors that can affect Breathalyzer reliability, and we have helped many Missourians facing drunk driving charges defend themselves.

Per BACtrack.com, one of the most common factors that can impact Breathalyzer accuracy is calibration. To perform correctly, these devices require functional batteries and regular testing and calibration. If a Breathalyzer is not, in fact, calibrated correctly, its results typically are not reliable. Furthermore, like computers, Breathalyzers rely on an electronic software system, and in some cases, the software can be prone to glitches, which can also affect test results.

Environmental factors, too, can throw off the results of your breath test. In some cases, electronic interference, which might come from radio towers, cellphone towers or police scanners, among other sources, can lead to false Breathalyzer results. Additionally, certain chemicals and fumes, among them certain types of paint fumes, have the capacity to do the same.

Having particular substances in your mouth or on your breath can also impact breath test results. For example, blood or vomit in your mouth can affect the Breathalyzer reading you produce, as can certain medications, mouthwashes and breath fresheners. More about drunk driving defense is available on our web page.


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