Are Breathalyzer tests always accurate?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2024 | DWI |

Law enforcement officers in Minnesota use many tools and techniques to determine if they believe someone is driving under the influence of alcohol. One of the tools commonly used is the Breathalyzer. This compact machine is designed to take a sample of someone’s breath to determine if they are intoxicated based on the state’s laws. Drivers should be aware that these machines are not always accurate, and some factors can cause the machine to provide erroneous readings.  

Breathalyzers can be wrong 

The Breathalyzer is a diagnostic tool that measures an individual’s alcohol content through breath. When stopped by a police officer under suspicion of DWI, a driver may be asked to blow briefly through the Breathalyzer device. These devices will provide a reading almost instantly, which may lead the officer to request further testing or proceed with an arrest if the number is shown to be higher than the legal limit.  

Just like other machines, some factors can decrease the accuracy of the Breathalyzer’s readings. If there are other compounds in someone’s breath, or the person suffers from certain health conditions, the reading may be inaccurate. The temperature in the area where the test is administered, and human errors can also lead to erroneous Breathalyzer readings.  

Legal advice is important after a DWI charge 

When faced with a DWI charge, one should seek legal advice promptly. A DWI conviction can significantly impact one’s life, leading to personal and professional problems. But no one is alone when facing such serious charges. A Minnesota attorney with knowledge of the state’s DWI laws can provide help with preparing to defend oneself in court.  



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