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Factors that may affect the accuracy of breath tests

Police officers have a duty to address any issues that may threaten residents of Oklahoma. Drunk driving is one such issue that can pose serious risks to the public. While it is right to applaud law enforcement personnel for trying to keep roadways safe and as risk-free as possible, their efforts are in vain if the tools they rely on are subject to error.

Advancements in the breathalyzer technology used to identify possible drunk driving have helped police officers arrest alleged offenders on DUI charges. However, sometimes breath test technology can return false positives that land residents in jail for an offense they did not commit. Below are several factors that can affect the accuracy of roadside breathalyzers.

  • Human Error: Police officers should undergo training or instruction on how to administer a breath test properly and prevent or reduce false positives.
  • Equipment: To maintain its accuracy, a breathalyzer needs periodic calibration and its batteries should be replaced on a regular basis.
  • Software: Sometimes, the software that operates breath test equipment contains a glitch or a bug that can result in inaccurate test results.
  • Environment: If certain chemicals or fumes from paint or adhesives are in the area where a breathalyzer occurs, it could result in a false positive.
  • Substances: Many everyday products like breath fresheners, mouthwash and toothache medication may contain alcohol that can affect a breathalyzer's readings.

Do not underestimate the effect that DUI charges can have on your life. You have the right to protect your rights. A DUI defense attorney can help by providing you with the tools to build a solid case against DUI charges.

Source: Bactrack, "Are Breathalyzers Accurate?," accessed May 31, 2018

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