What factors might impact the accuracy of breath tests?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

When an Indiana law enforcement officer asks you to submit to a breath test during a traffic stop, you may hesitate before doing so. The results of a breath test may have a substantial impact on your life moving forward, so it is imperative that the device used to test you produces accurate results.

Per BACtrack, if your breath test shows that your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher, you may face a host of serious penalties ranging from time spent in jail or prison to license suspensions and community service obligations. However, breath test device results are not always accurate, and there are several factors that have the potential to make them inaccurate. Some of these factors are as follows.

Environmental factors

It may sound odd, but certain substances, fumes or chemicals in the air have the capacity to throw off the results of a breath test. Certain types of paint fumes may do so, and so, too, might certain types of plastics or adhesives that might be in the vicinity.

Improper or insufficient calibration

A breath test device must be extremely precise, and these devices require periodic calibration to produce correct results. An improperly calibrated breath test device may make it appear as if you were drunk when you were not.

Foreign substances

Having certain substances in your mouth when you take your breath test may also throw off the accuracy of the device. Mouthwashes and breath fresheners are among the foreign substances that could impact the accuracy of a breath test.

Sometimes, Indiana residents facing drunk driving charges find that they are able to beat the charges by demonstrating why the results of their breath tests should be invalid.