Just using a personal breath test won’t save you from a DUI

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2020 | Blood Alcohol Tests

If you are someone who enjoys alcoholic beverages, whether you enjoy sharing an IPA with your friends after a long day at work or have developed a taste for sipping artisanal whiskeys, you need to make sure you are particularly careful if you get behind the wheel after enjoying one of your favorite drinks.

Knowing when you are safe to drive and when you definitely are not is difficult even in the best circumstances. Our brains have a way of convincing us that the alcohol hasn’t affected us as much as it really does. In other words, it’s not a very good idea to rely solely on your own analysis of your cognitive state when trying to determine if you are under the influence of alcohol or not.

Quite a few people see the personal Breathalyzer or portable breath test as a way to help shield themselves from potential criminal consequences such as impaired driving allegations. Unfortunately, as some people learn the hard way, you can’t always assume that your portable breath test results are accurate.

Any chemical testing unit requires calibration

When someone gets charged with an impaired driving offense, challenging the chemical evidence gathered by law enforcement is a common strategy to defend against those charges. A defense attorney wants to see all of the maintenance records for the breath test unit used during the traffic stop, as well as the testing and educational background of the officer who administered the test.

A breath test unit that has not received recent calibration or has not downloaded the most recent software upgrades or patches may not return accurate and verifiable test results. The same issue can impact a personal or portable unit that you carry in your vehicle, as well as any breath test device installed at a bar or restaurant. If you don’t know when someone last updated the software or calibrated the unit, there is no way to know if the test results are accurate.

Inaccurate results may leave you feeling confident to drive when you should not

If you solely rely on a chemical test to determine whether or not you can safely and legally drive a motor vehicle, you could easily make a mistake if the testing unit produces inaccurate results. Just because a breath test says that your blood alcohol content is under the legal limit doesn’t mean that the test results are valid or will protect you if you get pulled over by law enforcement officers.

Investing in a personal breath test system may be an intelligent choice for those who routinely consume alcohol in social settings, as is learning about how much alcohol leaves you unable to drive and how quickly your body digests the alcohol you consume. Anyone using these devices would be wise to carefully follow maintenance and calibration instructions and to acknowledge the limitations of a chemical test system.

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