Breathalyzer Accuracy

Breathalyzers are commonly used as evidence of intoxication in DUI cases in Florida. Unfortunately, breathalyzers may not be an accurate measure of whether you are actually intoxicated or not.

If you were arrested for a DUI based on the results of a Breathalyzer, you may be able to fight the DUI charges that you are facing in order to avoid potential conviction. You will, however, need the assistance of an experienced attorney if you intend to introduce doubt as to Breathalyzer accuracy. At The Ansara Law Firm, we have the knowledge necessary to help you build a strong case and present expert witnesses that will give you the best chance of being successful at avoiding a DUI conviction.

Breathalyzer Accuracy

When you are facing DUI charges, a prosecutor assigned to your case has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you were impaired while driving the vehicle. In most cases, the prosecutor will prove this by showing that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above the legal limit of .08. A Breathalyzer or breath test is often the evidence used to demonstrate that your BAC was above the limit.

If you are able to introduce doubt as to the Breathalyzer accuracy, then you may be able to avoid a conviction by virtue of the fact that the prosecutor has not met the required burden of proof. Remember, there is no requirement that you prove you are innocent- all you have to do is show that the prosecutor did not prove your guilt

Introducing questions as to the accuracy of a Breathalyzer can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. Numerous studies have demonstrated that breathalyzers are an imprecise measure of alcohol intoxication. For instance:

  • In 1985, a University of Washington Professor of Physiology, Biophysics and Medicine commented in The Champion 19 that breath testing is an inaccurate measure of blood alcohol content due to the variety of physiological variables that exist. In his article Physiological Errors Associated with Alcohol Breath Testing, Dr. Hiastala cautioned against using breath testing as the only method of determining intoxication for legal purposes.
  • Several additional studies conducted in 1987 also shed doubt on the accuracy of breath tests including an article published in Clinical Chemistry 261 entitled Accuracy and Precision of Breath-Alcohol Measurements for a Random Subject in the Postabsorptive State, which revealed that 23 percent of individuals tested would have breath tests indicating more blood alcohol content in their bodies than was actually present.

These and other studies show that breath tests may be problematic, even when administered perfectly. Unfortunately, sometimes breath tests are not even administered correctly. Law enforcement may not be properly trained on the administration of a Breathalyzer test, or the breath test device may not be calibrated as required by the manufacturer. If these or other factors exist that diminish the accuracy of a breath test, it becomes even easier to raise questions as to whether the test should provide conclusive evidence of DUI.

For the best chance of successfully challenging your DUI by raising questions about the Breathalyzer, it is advisable to contact an experienced Boward County DUI lawyer.

If you have been charged with DUI in South Florida, call The Ansara Law Firm today for your free initial consultation at (954) 761-4011! You can also contact us online. It only takes a minute to call, but it can make all the difference in the world.