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3 reasons that roadside breath tests may return incorrect results

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2023 | DUI Charges |

When police officers arrest someone for impaired driving in Oklahoma, chemical breath and/or blood test results are often an important form of evidence for the state’s case. Drivers arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions may very strongly believe that the test results in their case were wrong.

These motorists may worry about how they will defend against the charges they’re facing when there is chemical evidence that seemingly demonstrates a violation of the law. However, there are many reasons that chemical breath tests, for example, fail to return accurate results, and proving that there is an issue with a breath test is one of the more common and successful DUI defense strategies as a result. These are some of the typical reasons that breath tests fail.

Medical conditions

Several health issues can lead to a breath test producing unreliable results. For example, perhaps someone has blood sugar issues that are not yet under control or diagnosed by a medical doctor. That could affect the accuracy of breath test results. The same is true for other, unusual medical conditions, like auto-brewery syndrome. People may have health concerns that directly influence their body chemistry and therefore the accuracy of breath test results.

What someone consumes

There are many ways that what someone ingests could affect a breath test. There are certain medications that could affect how accurate a breath test is. Mouthwash and breath spray can also contain enough alcohol to trigger a false positive if used very shortly before a breath test. What someone doesn’t eat could also have an influence on their test results. Those who follow a keto diet in an attempt to burn fat and maximize lean muscle usually avoid alcohol, but they might feel very surprised by the results of a breath test during a traffic stop because of how their dietary practices affect their bodies.

Maintenance and administration practices

Sometimes, the issue that undermines the accuracy of a chemical breath test is a problem with the device used to administer the test. It is necessary to engage in routine maintenance of such devices, including the installation of software updates and the calibration of testing devices to ensure accuracy. Officers should also receive training on how to properly administer tests. Gaps in maintenance records or errors made by the officer could also undermine the accuracy and reliability of the breath test results. When someone knows that the rest test results produced during their traffic stop are not an accurate reflection of their behavior prior to that point, it may benefit them to discuss that belief with their lawyer and look more closely at the circumstances.

Fighting back against Oklahoma DUI charges may require careful planning but can ultimately help to protect the rights of an individual who has been accused of wrongdoing due to inaccurate test results.