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Factors could cause inaccurate BAC results from breath tests

There are certain situations in which you could find your future at stake. One is if you have recently been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Your defense can be critical in such circumstances.

When it comes to creating a defense against any type of criminal charge, examining the evidence against you could help you determine how to approach your case. In particular, breath test results often used in DUI cases come under scrutiny because the devices used to measure blood alcohol concentration levels may not be completely reliable.

How do breath test machines work?

Using a Breathalyzer or other breath-test device to measure BAC levels involves detecting ethanol, which is a substance found in alcoholic beverages. However, ethanol is also found in numerous other compounds, and the devices pick up on substances that contain compounds similar to ethanol. As a result, interferences with test results could easily occur.

Are you diabetic?

If you have diabetes or follow a certain diet, the acetone levels in your system could reach significantly higher levels than in other individuals. You may wonder what this fact has to do with DUI, but some breath test devices detect acetone and falsely identify it as ethyl alcohol. As a result, your status as a diabetic could cause a breath test to indicate a higher BAC level.

Are you aware of environmental factors?

Certain factors in the environment at the time of the test's administration can also impact breath tests. Cellphones and police radios could result in electrical interference with the devices, and gasoline, paint remover and cleaning fluids could also cause a breath test to detect alcohol, even if a person has not had a drink.

Another factor that could impact results is temperature. If the officer administering the test does not calibrate the device to adjust for air temperature, readings could be off. Additionally, if your body temperature is above normal, the BAC results could see a considerable increase.

Also, whether the test was administered in a proper manner by police can have significant impacts on the accuracy of results.

Can you challenge breath test results?

BAC results from breath tests are sometimes challenged in court. If you feel that the results of your test were inaccurate, you may be able to use this as part of your DUI defense. Information on how to go about doing so and on other defense strategies that may suit your circumstances may prove useful to you.

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