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Guess what? Breathalyzer results aren't always accurate.

If you were to take a test that could significantly impact the rest of your life, you'd no doubt want the test results to be accurate, right? If someone were to tell you that the results of a particular test could cost you your freedom, your desire to make certain test results were true would likely increase even more. Is it really possible to go to jail based on results from a test that may not have been administered properly or was defective in some way? The answer is yes.

Let's say police pulled you over because your car allegedly veered a tiny bit over the yellow line. Although your initial thought might be that it's really not that big of a deal, and the officer will likely issue a warning then tell you that you're free to go, it may not play out that way if the officer suspects you've been drinking alcohol. In situations like this, it's not uncommon for a law enforcement officer to request that you take a Breathalyzer test. It's crucial to remember that if you refuse, you may be subject to administrative penalties, and if you do take the test, the test results may be faulty.

Things that can go wrong with Breathalyzers

It's typically a good idea to submit to a police officer's lawful request to take a Breathalyzer or other chemical test, if warranted. Keeping the following Breathalyzer facts in mind may be helpful if you suspect false positive results:

  • Semi-conductor technology comprises the inner-workings of Breathalyzers. The material used often causes the machines to produce inaccurate results.
  • If you happen to have ketones in your blood, (because you are diabetic or for some other health-related reason) a semi-conductor Breathalyzer device may register positive for alcohol even if you haven't consumed a single drop. 
  • If the device a police officer uses to test your breath is not properly calibrated or has not had its batteries changed when needed, it may not function the way it's supposed to and results may be inaccurate. 
  • You are supposed to take several breath tests within minutes of each other to ensure consistent, accurate results. If this does not occur, you may have grounds to challenge the way the official administered the test. 
  • If there's any wet paint, varnish, glue or other similar substances nearby when you take the test, it can cause false results. 

Even the person administering the test to you must have proper certification. As you can see, there are a great number of issues that may cause a Breathalyzer test to register a false positive. Since the court typically accepts Breathalyzer test results as admissible evidence in a DUI case, it would definitely be no small matter if your test results were inaccurate, especially when certain test results may lead to automatic convictions!

Many California motorists have brought questionable situations to the attention of their attorneys in order to file challenges in court that have sometimes resulted in the court labeling evidence inadmissible or dismissing a case altogether.

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