What issues could affect Breathalyzer accuracy?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2024 | DWI |

Facing drunk driving charges is intimidating for any driver. This charge, even if the allegations are unfounded, have the potential to bring serious consequences in every area of a person’s life. Most DWI charges in Minnesota begin with a suspected drunk driving traffic stop, during which law enforcement will use handheld devices called Breathalyzers to determine the individual’s alcohol content. 

Factors that could impact readings 

The Breathalyzer devices used by law enforcement in the field must work properly and give accurate readings. Failure to properly calibrate a Breathalyzer, use of a malfunctioning apparatus or improper test administration could have a serious impact on results. Factors that can affect the readings given by one of these devices include: 

  • Outdated software or a malfunctioning with the software system 
  • Human error, perhaps due to lack of training or knowledge 
  • Foreign substances in the user’s system or mouth  
  • Environmental factors such as varnish or other fumes nearby 

If the Breathalyzer’s reading is not accurate, it can have an unfair impact on a person’s future. A driver has the right to challenge the results of a Breathalyzer test if he or she believes that it was not accurate. 

A strong defense strategy 

A Minnesota driver facing DWI charges will benefit from seeking legal guidance regarding his or her best defense options. If there were problems with the Breathalyzer device it can impact the validity of the entire case against that person. An assessment of the interaction with law enforcement will determine how to proceed with the development of a strong and effective defense strategy. 



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