Challenging Breathalyzer Tests in Alpharetta

Although breathalyzers are often used as tools to determine a person’s level of sobriety, they possess their own flaws that should be challenged. If you have been charged with a drinking and driving offense, reach out to an attorney who could help you develop ways to challenge breathalyzer tests in Alpharetta. To get started on a case, be sure to schedule a consultation today.

Common Misconceptions about Breathalyzers in Alpharetta

Some common misconceptions about Breathalyzers in Alpharetta are that they are accurate predictors of the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. The problem with Breathalyzers is they are only an estimate of what a person’s blood alcohol concentration is. If they want to know if somebody’s blood alcohol concentration is, they should test their blood. When using a breath test to determine what the amount of alcohol is in the blood, there are always going to be inaccuracies involved for a variety of reasons.

Ways that Breathalyzers Produce False positives or an Inaccurately High BAC Record

Breathalyzers can result in false positives or an inaccurately high BAC record. Certain forms of chewing gum have been shown by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation studies to show a falsely elevated blood alcohol concentration. If a person has had something to drink recently, and law enforcement fails to comply with the 20-minute observation period, then “mouth-alcohol” could skew the results. Mouth alcohol is alcohol that is not in the body but rather is in the oral cavity. By its nature, when they blow into a Breathalyzer, they could be blowing alcohol in the breath into the Breathalyzer that could give a false positive.

Issues Regarding the Calibration of Breathalyzer Machines in Alpharetta

An important issue regarding the calibration of Breathalyzer machines is that they need to be checked for calibration quarterly, or four times a year, under Georgia law. In addition, if a machine goes out of calibration, it must be sent back to the factory to be recalibrated. Part of the problem with Georgia’s breath testing program is that when a machine does go out of calibration because only quarterly checks are required, the state has no idea when exactly the machine went out of calibration.

There is also no system in place to inform drivers charged with DUI that a breathalyzer is out of calibration. For example, if an Alpharetta breath test machine went out of calibration, there is no means of informing those charged with DUI previously before they knew it went out of calibration.

Why do Government Experts Continue to Rely on Breathalyzer Machines?

Government experts continue to rely on Breathalyzer machines because they are readily available. The arresting officer may be the state’s only witness in a DUI case, meaning the state is promoting efficiency over due process. For example, a more accurate blood test would require a nurse at a hospital to draw a person’s blood properly. Then it must be tested by a forensic expert at the crime lab to determine what the blood alcohol concentration is.

Although blood testing is considered far more accurate than a breathalyzer test, it is far more burdensome on the state. The state chooses to sacrifice accuracy and reliability by using breath testing to attempt to determine a person’s blood-alcohol level.

Challenging a Breathalyzer Test

A DUI defense lawyer can challenge the Breathalyzer results in court or suppress the evidence if the proper procedure is not followed. A test can either be excluded from evidence or the weight of that evidence can be challenged as inaccurate and unreliable.

If you wish to challenge a breathalyzer test in Alpharetta, reach out to a lawyer today. An attorney could help you come up with efficient strategies to help you avoid a DUI conviction. Schedule a consultation today to get started.


Hawkins Spizman

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