Understanding the fallibility of breath alcohol tests in Texas

A DUI conviction can lead not only to fines, license suspension and possible prison time, but it can also result in trouble securing a job. At Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP, we know how important it is to put together a compelling defense against such charges. Part of that could include pointing out how a breath alcohol test in your case may not have been accurate.

As a report from the National Motorists Association points out, breath alcohol tests are often unreliable, resulting in as much as a 50 percent margin of error. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • The law enforcement officer has not properly calibrated the machine.
  • The machine misreads an environmental element, such as paint fumes, as alcohol.
  • The machine mistakes food for alcohol.

Indeed, studies have shown that certain types of food such as bread can register as alcohol. Additionally, a report from the State University of New York has found that the presence of blood or vomit in your mouth can also trigger a higher reading.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a study that determined that if you have certain medical conditions, you may be more likely to fail a breath test. For example, someone who is diabetic has a naturally higher level of acetone. Breath tests can easily mistake acetone for alcohol, prompting an inaccurate reading and a wrongful arrest.

Keep in mind that just because a breath test determined that you had an illegal blood alcohol concentration, it does not mean that you are guilty of a crime. You still have legal options to protect your freedom. For more information on this topic, please visit our page defending against DUI charges.

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