The breathalyzer has been the standard test for law enforcement to determine blood alcohol content for decades. It was invented in the 1950s, but researchers in the late 19th century believed that such a device was possible. However, the National Motorists Association says that the breathalyzer is neither scientific or fair. It has a margin of error of 50 percent.
Although a failed breathalyzer test seems unsurmountable, you are not automatically guilty. It is important to take steps to protect your rights and get the best information about your case from a legal advocate on your side.
Factors which affect your breathalyzer test results
The breathalyzer does not always accurately reflect the BAC of a person. Police officers cannot be lenient if they suspect that you are under the influence, but all of these factors can impact your test results:
- Other substances in your mouth, such as mouthwash, breath fresheners or gum
- Improper calibration of the breathalyzer. Each device should be regularly tested to ensure accuracy. The batteries need to be updated to maintain accuracy, too.
- Bugs or glitches in the software that runs the device
- Human error
- Environmental factors, such as paint fumes or certain chemicals triggering false positive results.
- Health conditions, such as diabetes or GERD
- Having only one test administered. Most experts recommend at least two breathalyzer tests be administered.
- Regurgitation within 20 minutes before the test
- The type of device used in the test
You have many defense options when you have been charged with a DUI in the state of Tennessee. When you drive in the state, there is what is known as implied consent. That means that if you operate a vehicle, you consent to a blood or breath tests to determine your BAC, provided there was probable cause to believe you have been driving under the influence. If you choose to refuse a test, your license might be suspended from the time of the refusal, even if you are not acquitted of drunk driving. The laws are very complicated when it comes to DUIs and DWIs.
You need a good DUI attorney
A DUI has life-long consequences, even if it is the first offense. If you have been charged with a DUI in Tennessee, it is very important to get legal counsel to protect your rights. Knoxville's DUI laws are some of the strictest in the state, and the law is constantly changing. You want an attorney with experience and knowledge to help safeguard your rights.