Queens County DWI Attorney
How does a breathalyzer work?
The breathalyzer has been accepted into standard testing procedures by New York police officers when a driver is pulled over for suspected alcohol abuse. The breathalyzer is designed to determine the individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC).
- In the instance of a DWI, a police officer asks the individual to provide a breath sample into the breathalyzer machine.
- Then, the machine calculates an estimate of the alcohol in the sample of breath.
- The alcohol in the sample is then converted into the standard BAC measurement
The measurement calculated by the breathalyzer is then used as evidence that the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the moment of the arrest.
Is a breathalyzer accurate?
Not always. It is a common assumption that, because utilizing breathalyzers in the event of a DWI issuance is now routine, they are accurate. In actuality, they do not always measure one’s blood alcohol content accurately. There are numerous influences that affect the BAC measurement on a breathalyzer.
- Alignment. A breathalyzer is like any piece of scientific equipment. If it is not aligned and positioned properly, the readings can be inaccurate.
- Mouth wash. It’s hard to believe that proper oral hygiene can affect a breathalyzer reading, but using mouthwash with alcohol in it can affect your BAC measurement. The breathalyzer is designed to detect all forms of alcohol, including your mouth wash.
- Diet. Studies have shown that individuals with diabetes or people that follow various diets can post inaccurate readings on a breathalyzer. Different compounds form in the mouth for people in these groups, and these compounds are not found in most people. These compounds affect a breathalyzer’s readings.
- Use. A breathalyzer can post an inaccurate reading if it has been used before. It can still carry traces of alcohol from a previous user, and this trace can affect your BAC level.
If you have been issued a breathalyzer test and think that it may have been inaccurate, contact Nassau and Nassau County DWI lawyer Mark Panzavecchia. Don’t let a false reading take away your driving rights. For a free and professional consultation, call 888-LAW-2204 or email us.