Are Breath Tests an Accurate Record of my BAC?

BreathalyzerAre Breath Tests an Accurate Record of my BAC?

A breathalyzer or breath test is a means of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC.) Portable and compact, a breathalyzer measures the ethanol content (the type of alcohol found in alcoholic drinks) of your breath. However how accurate is a breathalyzer when it comes to measuring your BAC?  Breathalyzers can be subject to a number of interferences that can have an effect on your overall results. These interferences can either be with the device itself, such as calibration issues, or can be a result of a chronic medical condition you may have.

A Breathalyzer makes a lot of Assumptions

The biggest problem with the breathalyzer is that is makes a number of assumptions about the person taking the test. These assumptions are based on physical characteristics which do not apply to everyone. Height, weight and overall physical attributes, as well as age, gender, and overall physical health will produce a different result in the BAC reading of the breathalyzer. Because it’s not feasible to calibrate the machine for every person tested, the setting is applied to a generalized “average” which isn’t a fair representation for each individual. This, in many cases, can result in higher than actual readings. Because of this, you might be falsely charged with driving under the influence, even though you were under the legal limit.  

Health Conditions May Also Affect the Test

Other issues with breathalyzers come from biological interferences from chronic health conditions. Health conditions such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can spike the readings on a breathalyzer leading to DUI charges. Other health conditions such as diabetes or hypoglycemia can also cause false readings due to high acetone content in the body which is misinterpreted by the breathalyzer as having a high blood alcohol content. Individuals who suffer from hypoglycemia may also appear to be intoxicated.

What Should You do if You fail a Breathalyzer?

In the state of Maryland, a DUI charge is a serious matter that can cost you a great deal of time, money, and possibly even your freedom. What many people don’t understand is that there are many defenses that can be successfully used to help you fight against faulty breath testing results. An attorney familiar with Maryland DUI laws, the science of breath testing and breath testing equipment can help. If you’re charged with a DUI contact the legal offices of Alpert Schreyer today for a free consultation. Being convicted of a DUI has long standing repercussions that can affect you for many years after the verdict has been handed down. With the help of Alpert Schreyer’s experienced DUI defense attorneys, you can possibly avoid the conviction as well as the penalties that come with it.

About Andrew Alpert

+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.