As you probably already know, nothing is perfect. But when your life is on the line because you are facing something as serious as a DUI, you want it to be as close to perfect as possible. Unfortunately, FSTs are not as accurate as they may seem and the same can be said for breathalyzers when you are pulled over for a DUI. This is why they have a long history of controversy behind them when it comes to how effective and valid they truly are.
Breath Tests Explained
Breath testing plays an important role in a DUI investigation. If an officer received a reading of .08% or greater from a breath test, then it almost surely means that the defendant was under the influence while driving. This makes you appear guilty by default, so now it’s up to you to prove that you aren’t guilty. However, as research continues, it is shown that breathalyzers and FSTs are not as reliable as they appear.
Inaccurate Readings on Breath Tests
California has adopted the presumptive level of .08% to identify if somebody is impaired by alcohol, but sometimes this is not accurate based on the way the test was administered, and more. Here are some things you need to know about the inaccuracy of these tests:
- Breath machines are responsive to temperature and could produce inaccurate readings if not properly calibrated
- Your breathing pattern could affect the test, such as holding your breath
- The machine must constantly be tested by California law – however, if it is not, this could lead to inaccuracies
- An undiagnosed diabetic could cause the test to give a bad reading
- A breath test given during the absorptive phase (where alcohol is still entering your bloodstream) could present inaccurate results
- Acid reflux disease could lead to invalid test readings
Because certain aspects could affect a breathalyzer test, it is important to understand the many things that could cause an inaccurate reading. This is especially important if you have tested over the legal limit and have been charged with a DUI. Call us for more help with your case.