Are breath test devices always accurate?

A Real Trial Attorney

When a Wisconsin law enforcement officer stops your car and suspects you are driving under the influence, he or she may have you take a breath test. Depending on the results of your breath test, the officer who stops you may have probable cause to place you under arrest for operating while intoxicated or driving under the influence.

According to BACtrack, when a breath test device undergoes regular maintenance, testing and calibration, it is likely to produce accurate results. However, this is not the case in all instances. Sometimes, outside factors have the potential to throw off breath test accuracy. Some of the elements known to offset breath test device accuracy are as follows.

Improper maintenance or calibration

A breath test device usually works on batteries, so it requires those batteries to be fully functioning. The device also has to undergo calibration at specified intervals. If this does not occur, the results it produces are not trustworthy.

Environmental factors

Several environmental factors have the capacity to impact breath test device accuracy. Certain fumes in the air may do so. The presence of certain chemicals, adhesives, or plastics may also lead to inaccurate breath test results.

Alcohol-based products

Some over-the-counter products, such as many types of mouthwash, contain alcohol. In some cases, the use of these products may cause you to have a positive breath test result even if you have not consumed any alcohol.

Breath test results often play a key role in whether authorities place you under arrest. If you believe the results of your breath test were inaccurate, it may benefit you to seek further clarification.

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