Breath alcohol chemical test devices found to be unreliable

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Those who have been pulled over by a police officer in New York on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol may have been subjected to a breath alcohol chemical test device. This go-to device is used to measure the breath alcohol content of an individual by having them breathe into a tube. The breath alcohol content is then converted by a scientific formula in order to determine the blood alcohol content of the individual.

Through the years, numerous studies have been done to measure the accuracy of breath alcohol chemical test devices, and many have come up with some interesting results. According to several studies, the breath alcohol content was compared to the blood alcohol content of an individual, and there was found to be a wide margin of error exceeding 50 percent. The results have caused officials to question whether or not the standard chemical test should be admissible in court, or even used as a tool to determine if someone is driving under the influence. That is why some states have banned their use altogether.

New York Penalties

People who test a .18 or higher on their blood alcohol content can expect to receive a $1,000 to $2,000 fine, imprisonment for up to one year, or both. Their driver's license will be revoked for at least one year for a first time offender. A second time offender will lose their license for 18 months. New York also implements the use of ignition interlock devices for those charged with a DUI or DWI. Being charged with a DUI is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. Being falsely accused can really have an effect on your life.

Inaccurate Breathalyzer Readings

There are various types of breath alcohol chemical test devices, using different methods in order to measure the amount of alcohol on your breath. Most detect ethyl alcohol readings; however, there are many products other than alcohol that can give a false reading. These include:

  • Acetone: In many cases, acetone has been misidentified as ethyl alcohol. Diabetics and dieters can have high acetone levels and test positive on a breathalyzer tests.
  • Bread Products: It has been reported that readings of .05 and upward have been recorded after simply eating certain types of breads.
  • Paint: Painting a room for at least 20 minutes can give some a positive reading.
  • Tobacco Smoke: Tobacco smoke contains high levels of multiple toxins, including acetone that can be mistaken ethyl alcohol.
  • Inaccurate calibration of machine: When the police officer fails to accurately calibrate the device, it can lead to false readings.

If you feel that a chemical test has led to inaccurate results in your case, be sure to call a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney right away. A New York attorney experienced in DUI laws and breath alcohol chemical test devices will partner with you in your fight.