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Is it possible for Breathalyzer results to be wrong?

Breathalyzers are devices used by law enforcement to measure a driver’s blood alcohol content. The results of a test performed with one of these devices can result in an arrest and criminal charges, but how accurate are they? There are reasons to have concerns about the accuracy of a Breathalyzer test and how it could negatively impact a person’s life.

If you are facing charges for drunk driving in Illinois, you understand there is a lot at stake for you. It is in your interests to fight back with a strong defense strategy, and part of that may include challenging the prosecution’s case against you. A careful look at the evidence may find there were issues with the Breathalyzer test, leading to skewed test results and possibly invalid criminal charges against you.

Facts about Breathalyzers

Police usually give Breathalyzer tests to drivers suspected of intoxicated driving after the administration of field sobriety tests. This test might happen at the police station, or they may give it on the side of the road during the traffic stop. The device registers a driver’s blood alcohol content after the driver breathes into it. This is supposed to be an effective way to determine if a driver has a BAC over the legal limit of .08%, but they can be problematic. Consider the following:

  • The companies that market these devices tout their reliability, but judges frequently throw out results due to problems with the testing devices and results.
  • One common problem with Breathalyzers is that they require calibration on a regular basis. They are sensitive devices, and failure to do this can skew results.
  • Programming errors and improper use can also affect test results, yet law enforcement and prosecutors regularly use these results to ascertain a person’s guilt.

Individuals who are facing drunk driving charges because of a potentially erroneous Breathalyzer test result have the right to challenge the case against them. It is your future and freedom on the line, and you do not have to fight back on your own.

The right defense for you

Drunk driving charges are serious, but a guilty plea or a conviction are not the only options available to you. A careful examination of your case with an experienced attorney can reveal what legal options are available to you. You will benefit from seeking help as soon as possible after an arrest for DUI.