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Fredericksburg DUI Breathalyzer Accuracy

If you have been pulled over for suspected drinking and driving then an officer may ask you to take a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer machine is going to measure someone’s blood alcohol content so that the officer can determine if the driver was drunk. It is important to know that problems could arise from the breathalyzer tests. An accomplished defense lawyer is available if you have any questions regarding the Fredericksburg DUI breathalyzer accuracy.

Breathalyzers as Evidence

There are two types of breath tests used in Virginia DUI cases. There is a preliminary breath test that is administered on the side of the road by a police officer and there is a breathalyzer machine that is used after an arrest. The breathalyzer machine is considered reliable evidence by the court. If the certificate of analysis from a breathalyzer machine is entered into evidence, the court will take the results for what it is.

Over the years, breathalyzers have been modified to ensure that they are more accurate than in the past. This is why breathalyzer machines are considered accurate scientific devices, according to the general assembly of Virginia.

Inaccurate Test Results

There are several things that can occur with breathalyzers that can result in a false positive or inaccurate BAC level. Before a breathalyzer can be administered, the arresting officer has to observe the subject for a period of at least 20 minutes to make sure that the person is not regurgitating, they do not have heartburn, or any other issues during that time period. The police are supposed to ask the individual if they have burped at all in the last 20 minutes before they can administer the test. A burp or anything that allows air from the stomach to be released via the esophagus could cause an inaccurate breathalyzer reading. Air in the stomach can have alcohol that has not been digested and is not part of the blood-stream, could have a higher concentration of alcohol.

People who suffer from chronic heartburn, who use daily medication, or acid reflux disease, can affect the Fredericksburg DUI breathalyzer accuracy.

There are also individuals who have certain types of diabetes that could result in a higher blood alcohol test even if they have not been drinking at all. Breathalyzer tests could also detect various forms of alcoholic colognes and mouthwash.

Law Enforcement Reliance on Breathalyzers

The main reason that government officials rely on breathalyzer machines and other sources of forensic evidence even though they have had issues on a number of occasions is due to the convenience. If the courts did not accept breathalyzer machines as evidence of a DUI, it would be much harder to convict individuals of driving while they are intoxicated. Cases that are lacking breathalyzer evidence, have a higher tendency to go to trial and a higher success rate for the defendant.

It is politically unpopular to suggest that breathalyzer machines should not be used. It is unlikely that legislation would outlaw the use of breathalyzers because it would seem as though they are encouraging drinking and driving. Call an experienced attorney today if you want to know further information about the Fredericksburg DUI breathalyzer accuracy.

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