Fredericksburg DUI Breathalyzers

When an officer pulls someone over on suspicion of drunk driving, they may ask the individual to take a breathalyzer. Breathalyzers are generally reliable instruments for detecting impairment as long as it has been tuned regularly, administered by a licensed operator, and has been improved by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science. If you have been arrested for drunk driving following a breathalyzer test, contact a seasoned DUI lawyer who is experienced handling cases involving Fredericksburg DUI breathalyzers.

Misconceptions about Breathalyzers

One of the common misconceptions about breathalyzers is that the tests often result in errors. An experienced attorney may tell someone that it is not the case. Breathalyzers are usually not prone to an error when they are administered correctly. Many people are also surprised to learn that even if they blow below the legal limit they can still be arrested for DUI. It is also very unlikely that someone using mouthwash a few hours before the test will affect the breathalyzer result.

Common Ways a Breathalyzer May Read a False Positive

Although Fredericksburg DUI breathalyzers are usually accurate, there are occasions when it can read a false positive. Common ways a breathalyzer may show an error include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Burping
  • Not blowing for the proper length of time
  • Asthma
  • Certain types of drugs in the system
  • Weather

Calibrating Breathalyzers

There is not a specific date for when breathalyzers should be calibrated, however, they should be calibrated every few months. The Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences takes a log of whenever a machine is calibrated. A breathalyzer is usually calibrated when it is handled by another officer. Law enforcement needs to pull the logs of that particular machine and check when it was calibrated, how it was calibrated, and whether or not the calibrated itself has zeroed so when a person who does have a BAC of zero is still blowing a zero. The way the police can check if it is zeroed out is by performing the test on another individual who is usually an officer on duty before administered the test to the driver.

Suppressing Breathalyzers as Evidence

It is possible to challenge or suppress the evidence of an erroneous breathalyzer result in court. Whether or not the individual will win the challenge depends on whether or not there were any issues with the test or the results. There are several questions the defendant’s attorney can ask. Such as, was the person actually at fault by breath test? Was the test administered correctly? Was the test administered in a certain period of time? Was the defendant read the implied consent statute? Did law enforcement conform to everything that is listed in the Virginia Code related to administering a breath test?

There are many things that can go wrong with Fredericksburg DUI breathalyzer tests. If there are any issues with a person’s breath test, they can certainly challenge it. Whether or not the individual wins depends on the judge and what the issue is. An accomplished defense lawyer could help an individual challenge their breathalyzer test. To see how else an attorney could assist you, call today to schedule a consultation.

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