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Orlando Criminal Attorney > Blog > Drunk Driving > Factors That Alter Breathalyzer Results

Factors That Alter Breathalyzer Results


After being pulled over for a suspected DUI, the police officer may ask you to submit to a breath test. Under Florida’s implied consent law, you are required to take this test when asked by law enforcement and if you refuse, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for one-year. If you blow over the legal limit, you may start to panic, but you should not. Breathalyzers are not perfect machines and there are many things that can alter the results. Below, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer explains what those are.

Calibration Issues

Even the slightest jolt can cause a breathalyzer machine to become improperly calibrated. When you imagine police officers carrying the devices with them around in their vehicles, it is easy to see why the calibration in the machines is so easily thrown off. Breathalyzers must be regularly and properly calibrated to ensure they provide accurate results. Although the government oversees breathalyzers, sometimes they contain a defect or flaw that is not caught due to a lack of oversight. Police departments also do not provide proper incentives for their officers to properly calibrate and maintain the machines they use.

Human Error

While you are required to take a breathalyzer test when asked, police officers must also follow certain procedures when administering them. Officers must administer two tests back-to-back to ensure the results are consistent and accurate. They must also observe DUI suspects for a full 20 minutes uninterrupted before administering the test to ensure the driver does not consume anything. When these procedures are not followed, it can easily affect the results of a breathalyzer test.

Miscellaneous Factors

Alcohol-based products can also alter the results of a breathalyzer test if the driver had consumed them shortly before the test. These products can include mouthwash, certain medications, and even breath mints. Due to the fact that these items contain alcohol, they can raise a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) even though they are not drunk.

Dental Work

Many people do not realize that recent dental work can also increase a person’s BAC even though they are completely sober. Alcohol is often used in dental treatments to sterilize the mouth and tools used by the dentist. When this alcohol becomes trapped in the lining of the mouth, it can remain there for up to 30 minutes. If tested during this time, the breathalyzer will detect the alcohol in the mouth, which could result in inaccurate results.

Our DUI Lawyer in Orlando Can Challenge Your Breath Test Results

Blowing over the legal limit during a breathalyzer test is very scary, and you are likely worried about your future. Fortunately, at O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando drunk driving lawyer knows how to challenge these test results so they are not used against you in court. To learn more about how we can help you beat your charges, call us today at 407-634-6604 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.

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