Breath Test Errors in DeKalb County DUI Cases

Breath tests are a common method used by law enforcement to determine whether a person’s blood-alcohol level is above the legal limit. However, there are opportunities for an experienced defense attorney to challenge the legitimacy of the test.

To learn more about how breath test errors could be used as a valid defense in a DeKalb County DUI case, be sure to schedule a consultation today.

When would an Attorney Use a Person’s Breath Test Results as a Defense?

A DUI lawyer in Dekalb County may use the person’s breath test as a defense strategy if it was below the legal limit. A defense attorney could make the argument that since the person’s BAC was below .08, there is no need to heavily pursue a DUI charge against the individual. In the event a person’s blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit, an attorney’s argument would depend on whether the result was within the machine’s margin of error. If their level is only marginally greater than the legal limit, an attorney could challenge the accuracy of the testing. However, if a person’s levels were way above the limit, it could prove difficult to challenge a person’s recorded BAC levels.

How Reliable is a Breath Test in DeKalb County?

The breath test is not an exact science. It is an estimation of an individual’s blood alcohol concentration. It has often been said that if you want to know a person’s blood-alcohol concentration, test their blood.  Breath is merely an estimate, and estimates are often inaccurate.

There are multiple interferences that can cause testing to be flawed. Police officers communicate with dispatch by using powerful two-way radios that can impact the breath testing machines’ ability to secure a clean sample. This is commonly referred to as Radio Frequency Interference.  Residual mouth alcohol could also impact an individual’s breath alcohol reading. Introduction of alcohol in the oral cavity, by belching, burping, or throwing up can impact the reliability of the breath test or the accuracy of that number.  Those who suffer from Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) are not good candidates for breath testing for alcohol content.

Body Temperature Affecting Breath Test Results

The temperature of a person’s breath has been demonstrated to impact breath test results. Increased internal temperature of the body could cause a higher breath temperature, which can cause a falsely high reading. The breath testing machine in Georgia, the Intoxilyzer 9000, works under a number of different assumptions. One of the assumptions is that the core temperature of the human being that is being tested is 98.6 degrees.

Studies show that as they elevate the core temperature of an individual, it can actually impact the results of a breath test. This means that if someone’s core temperature is one degree, two degrees, or three degrees higher, then it is possible that the number that is being taken from the machine is inflated or elevated as well.

Retain Legal Assistance Today

Being accused of drinking and driving can be an intimidating experience. Fortunately, you may be able to combat this charge with the help of a DeKalb County attorney. With a lawyer at your side, you may be able to challenge the case made by the prosecution. A lawyer could also investigate whether a person’s breath test results were skewed due to any outside factors. To learn more about preparing for a DUI trial, or for help building a defense, be sure to schedule a consultation today.


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