Hand-held DUI breath test devices: far from infallible

Behold the breathalyzer.

On the one hand, law enforcers in Indiana and everywhere else across the country routinely laud its utility — ease of use, quickly displayed results and so forth — in drunk driving stops where on-the-spot testing is deemed an imperative.

On the other hand, high numbers of stopped motorists have sharply complained over many years that portable breath testing devices have yielded flatly incorrect results. Many people who say that they were far from inebriated — in some cases, not drinking at all — have nonetheless been convicted on a DUI/OWI criminal charge that centrally relied upon BAC (blood-alcohol content) numbers displayed by a breathalyzer.

And those tales are not simply emanating from sore losers. Media accounts regularly describe multi-sourced problems with breath test devices that bring about faulty readings.

In a website page at the Indianapolis criminal law firm of Patel Defense, we note that “many studies show that the results from these breath analyzers cannot always be trusted.”

Research from one university revealed, for instance, that about 25 percent of tested motorists display a BAC number that actually exceeds what is really the case.

A proven drunk driving defense attorney can discuss with a client the many factors that singly or together can produce an inaccurate device readout.

Experienced OWI/DUI counsel can also closely investigate in a given case whether faulty machine calibration and/or maintenance played a role in a motorist being unfairly categorized and prosecuted as a drunk driving offender. It additionally bears noting that police officers do not always receive adequate training regarding the proper use of a breathalyzer.

An individual who feels that he or she has a legitimate grievance concerning any aspect of a drinking-related police detention should not hesitate to contact a proven and aggressive defense attorney who regularly promotes the legal rights and interests of persons in DUI matters.