Drinking and driving is a dangerous action that can impact the lives of many. As such, these crimes are punished severely. However, the officers who conduct these traffic stops and arrests often rely on a breathalyzer device to determine the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of a driver. However, like all technology, these devices can malfunction or work improperly. If you had to perform a breathalyzer test and believe the results were incorrect, you may have legal options. The following blog explores these instances in further detail and why it’s in your best interest to connect with Houston DWI lawyers who can help you during these matters.

How Does a Breathalyzer Device Work?

A breathalyzer is a device used by law enforcement officers to determine someone’s BAC. In the United States, the legal BAC limit is 0.08%. Anyone at or over this limit will automatically face a DWI charge. However, if there is alcohol in the driver’s system and the officer believes it is enough to intoxicate them and impact their ability to drive, they can still face a DWI.

The breathalyzer works by measuring the amount of alcohol in the user’s breath. It will then use conversions to give the officer their BAC. Approximately 2,100 milliliters of breath equals 1 milliliter of blood, which is the conversion rate the devices use.

Are There Instances Where These May Give False Readings?

It’s important to understand these drives are not always accurate. There are circumstances in which it can provide a false result, meaning it may make the user appear intoxicated or more intoxicated than they actually are.

For example, if the officer administering the test has never used the device before, they may administer it incorrectly by failing to follow proper protocol. Generally, this means observing you for a period of time before giving the test and ensuring you do not smoke or vomit before taking it. Failure to do so can provide inaccurate results. Similarly, if the device is not calibrated correctly, the conversion may be incorrect, leading to making it appear as though you are over the legal limit.

It’s also important to understand that some stand that certain medical conditions can impact your breathalyzer test results. Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), asthma, liver conditions, and diabetes can all impact the outcome of your test results. For example, GERD triggered by even a few sips of alcohol can make it appear as though it’s much more present in your system, making your reading extremely incorrect.

As you can see, there are many things that can impact the results of your breathalyzer test. That’s why it’s imperative to connect with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to explore your legal options. At the Sparks Law Firm, we understand how frustrating it can be to be held liable for a crime you did not commit, which is why our team is dedicated to exploring all possible defenses for your circumstances. Connect with us today to learn how we can fight for you.