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Was the Breathalyzer calibrated correctly?

| Feb 8, 2017 | Criminal Defense |

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in Wisconsin, you face considerable penalties if convicted, even if it is your first time ever to face such a charge. Given how harsh the punishments may be and how much you may have to pay in fines and for alternative transportation, among related expenditures, there is a lot riding on the results of your breath test.

Law enforcement officials rely on Breathalyzers, or devices that are used to assess your blood-alcohol level, to get an idea of just how impaired you may be behind the wheel. It is important to note, however, that, per Findlaw, Breathalyzers are not always full proof. Furthermore, the device itself and its administrator, too, must meet certain criteria for the Breathalyzer’s results to be considered valid.

Among the most commonly cited reasons for challenging Breathalyzers is an allegation that the device was improperly calibrated. To produce results that will hold up in court, the device must be calibrated and tested for accuracy at predetermined, regular intervals. An attorney may be able to secure the device’s calibration records on your behalf if there is any question about whether it was in proper working order when you were given your test. It, too, must be from a list of specific, acceptable devices, and the person who administers your breath test has to be properly certified to do so.

While an improperly calibrated device may influence your breath test reading, other factors, too, may lead to false results. For example, smoking, burping or vomiting all have the potential to impact results. Authorities are typically trained to keep an eye out for these actions, and they are supposed to wait a specific period of time after any of them occur before they can administer your breath test.

This information about Breathalyzers is educational in nature and not meant to be taken as legal advice.