Inaccuracy of Breathalyzer could be key in DUI criminal defense

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2019 | Criminal Defense |

When Louisianans are stopped by law enforcement as part of an investigation to determine if a driver is driving under the influence, there are various steps the officer will take. Most people will understand what it means to blow into a Breathalyzer. This machine is used to determine the blood-alcohol content in the driver’s system. A foundational part of many DUI cases, those who register over a certain level depending on the circumstances can find themselves arrested and in need of criminal defense.

However, a new report is calling into question the validity of these tests. Reporters from the New York Times investigated Breathalyzers. They found that many law enforcement agencies across the U.S. use machines that are inaccurate with numerous flaws contributing to the errors. Failure to register an accurate reading could mean that people who should not have been arrested were charged. These inaccuracies occurred at a worrisome rate.

Breathalyzer machines are portrayed as giving an accurate reading of the driver’s BAC. If they are inaccurate, it could lead to many wrongful convictions – this is how critical the evidence accrued by these machines can be in a case. There are several reasons for the inaccuracies. Included are the machines being improperly calibrated, errors in the software of the machine itself, or problems with the hardware. Increasingly, judges are dismissing cases because of flaws with the Breathalyzer. Until this problem is solved, people who are stopped for a DUI investigation and given a Breathalyzer should consider the machine and whether it is giving a fair reading.

Since a DUI conviction carries with it a series of problematic penalties including jail, fines, a driver’s license suspension and more, it is important to lodge a strong defense. People can forget about the potential long-term issues the can face if they are convicted of DUI even after they have served their sentence. Insurance rates can be higher and the conviction can be a negative for them as they seek jobs and educational opportunities. Crafting a criminal defense against these allegations might help and questioning the Breathalyzer is one avenue to achieve a positive result.


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