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Factors that can impact Breathalyzer accuracy

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2018 | Blog, Firm News |

If you find yourself traveling through Sturgis or another part of South Dakota and a law enforcement officer pulls you over and believes you are driving while intoxicated, he or she will likely ask you to take a breath test with a device known as a Breathalyzer. Breathalyzers assess the amount of alcohol you have in your body to give authorities a sense of how impaired you might be behind the wheel. While, if used and calibrated properly, these devices are often accurate, there are several factors that can cause them to produce false results.

Because the penalties linked with drinking and driving in South Dakota are so substantial, it is critical that your breath test reveal accurate, and not falsely elevated, results. However, it may produce a false reading of your blood alcohol content if:

Radio waves or electric signals interfere

There are several environmental factors that can impact Breathalyzer accuracy, and one of them is the presence of electronic interference. If authorities administer your breath test near, say, a cellphone tower, the signals the tower emits could potentially throw off your test results. Even the police radio coming from the parked cruiser could potentially affect the results of your breath test.

You have vomit or blood in your mouth

Vomit or blood in your mouth during a breath test can also impact results and potentially lead to a drinking and driving charge you do not deserve. If authorities are aware that you have vomit or blood in your mouth when they attempt to give you the breath test, they typically know to wait a set amount of time before trying to test you again.

You have diabetes

If you are diabetic and your body is producing ketones, this, too, can make it appear as if you have been consuming alcohol when you have not. Some testing devices pick up on anything on your breath that has a methyl molecule structure, which might be alcohol, or something else entirely.

A whole lot hinges on the numbers this device displays, so if you have any reason to believe its results might not be accurate, consider performing some additional research.