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Indicators that a breath test device may not give valid results

If the results of a breath test surprised you, with the officer telling you that you were intoxicated when you really did not think you were over the legal limit, it's important to remember that breath test devices are not always accurate. There are a few indicators that you can watch out for, which could mean the test isn't being done properly.

For instance, maybe the officer seems confused about how to use the breath test. Remember, officers need to be trained and certified. They have to use their training and administer the tests properly. If this doesn't happen, the reading could be false.

Another thing to watch out for is when two readings aren't close at all. For instance, maybe one reading said that your Blood Alcohol Concentration was at 0.04, well under the legal limit. The second test showed that you were at 0.09, just over the limit. The results are supposed to be within 0.02 of each other, and the test is suspect if there's such a wide range.

It's also worth noting that a breath test device that looks poorly maintained may not function the way that it should. These devices are supposed to be maintained and calibrated on a set schedule. Police are supposed to test them at set intervals to make sure they're working properly. If the device has been neglected, you may need to question the results.

Of course, you don't want to argue with the officers at the time of the arrest. Just make sure you know your legal rights and what options you have if a DUI arrest is made in error.

Source: FindLaw, "Breathalyzer Calibration," accessed April 12, 2017

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