Breathalyzers in Prince William County DUI Cases

Breathalyzers are considered inherently reliable in the state of Virginia. Many times prosecutors will use the results of breathalyzers in Prince William County DUI cases to prove that the person was drinking and driving. When someone is facing DUI charges, they need to attain a knowledgeable drunk driving lawyer. The attorney can review the evidence and determine if the breathalyzer was calibrated correctly and if the officer administrating the test was trained correctly. They look at all these factors when breathalyzers are used as part of the prosecution’s case.

If you are facing DUI charges and a law enforcement officers conduct a breathalyzer test, you will want to consult an experienced Prince William County driving under the influence attorney immediately. There are several benefits to having legal representation during a case.

Breathalyzers Considered as a Reliable Instrument

Most breathalyzers are considered reliable instruments to measure blood alcohol content. There are a few key certain exceptions. For example, the results may be inaccurate if the test was not calibrated correctly or the person administrating the test was not trained correctly. These instruments are only going to be as good as the person that is operating it and as good as its own internal checking system.

These instruments need to be run a certain way and be maintained a certain way. There needs to be a certain type of input and output. These are all things that could make them more or less reliable depending on who is doing the operation and whether or not they were able to do that correctly.

Common Misconceptions

There are several common misconceptions with breathalyzers in Prince William County DUI cases. A common misconception is that a person has to blow at the scene. The person does not have to blow in any breathalyzer at the scene. Until a person is under arrest, implied consent is not going to attach to the situation and the person does not have to blow. Another common misconception about breathalyzers in Virginia is the fact that they are always right. They are not always right. They are often right and some might argue that they are usually right but they are certainly not always right.

If the machine was not calibrated correctly and the machine causes an issue, it may not be accurate and portray incorrect information. A lawyer needs to determine if the breathalyzer is actually reliable and it was administered correctly and it is ready to go.

Another misconception about breathalyzers is the fact that they are easy to blow into. A lot of times, people are charged with refusal because they simply do not have the breath to blow into a breathalyzer. It takes a lot of breath to get a sample out of these things. Sometimes people, for whatever reason, have physical ailments that cause them to be unable to perform this directly and sometimes they do not tell their attorney about it.

Another thing that could potentially affect an individual’s breath results or that could potentially be a misconception about breathalyzers is the fact that the reading on the breathalyzer might potentially show something that is less than what it shows at the station. Let’s say a person blows into something on the scene. The blood alcohol level can go up or down depending on how the alcohol is being absorbed into the body. Just because a person blows one thing at the scene and one thing at the station, that does not mean that one of the results is wrong. It could be that the person’s blood alcohol level just rose or dropped between the time that the person took the test at the scene and the time that the person took the test at the station.

False Positives

A false positive can be caused by certain mouth conditions, false positives can be caused by them not being calibrated correctly and the same with it being too high. It could be caused, essentially, by burping or the person is not giving them the proper type of sample. If someone drinks alcohol and the person blows into a breathalyzer, maybe the alcohol in a person’s mouth will be giving a false positive or an extra high positive, but it has not been absorbed into the person’s bloodstream. Technically, it is not a reflection of the person’s BAC; it is just a reflection of the alcohol in a person’s mouth at the time. There are many conditions that can potentially give a false positive.

Challenging Results in Court

A person should be sure to challenge the breathalyzer results in court and there are certainly times that a person strategically might not want to make that challenge, but a person can absolutely challenge the breathalyzer results. Defense attorneys in DUI cases often challenge these results if they feel it will help their client’s case.