Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law
Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law
Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law

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Does a Breathalyzer have to be calibrated?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2021 | DWI Defense

If you are stopped by the police and then asked to take a Breathalyzer test, it’s important for you to pay close attention to the results. The per se limit is .08% blood alcohol concentration. If you’re above that limit, then it can be assumed that you’re too intoxicated to be behind the wheel.

However, getting that number and making it stick is another issue entirely. It’s possible for the Breathalyzer to be inaccurate, which could influence if you’re arrested for a DWI. If the Breathalyzer is not calibrated correctly, then the results of a breath test could be inaccurate and lead to a false positive.

Breathalyzers must be calibrated correctly

Breathalyzers have to be calibrated correctly and as often as required by the law and manufacturer’s instructions. Since these tools are used often, it is important that they are calibrated regularly. This helps them maintain a good level of accuracy.

When a Breathalyzer is improperly calibrated, it will produce unreliable results.

How can you tell if a Breathalyzer isn’t reading correctly?

It isn’t always easy to know if the Breathalyzer has been correctly calibrated, but your attorney is able to ask for the details on the last time the machinery was calibrated as well as other factors that could influence the outcome of the test.

While you’re taking the test, a sign that the machine may not be reading correctly is if the results that come back are not similar despite being taken close together. For example, the first reading might come back at .04%. Then, a second test used to check the first test’s results comes back at .09%. That’s a huge difference and is unlikely to be accurate since most people wouldn’t see their blood alcohol concentration rise so much in a short amount of time.

If you are arrested, it’s worth questioning the Breathalyzer test

It may be worth questioning if the Breathalyzer was working accurately at the time of your test. If the results are not close enough together or the machinery hadn’t been calibrated, then you may have a good defense for your case.

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Travis L. Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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