If you have a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher, you should not operate a motor vehicle in the Lone Star State. That is, not only does driving while impaired endanger lives, but it also has some serious legal penalties and life consequences. If an officer stops you for a DWI, he or she is likely to ask you to take a breathalyzer test.
While breathalyzer tests are an important enforcement tool, they are not infallible. On the contrary, these tests produce inaccurate results at an almost alarming rate. If you think a breathalyzer test has produced a false-positive reading, you should ask yourself the following four questions:
- Do you have any medical conditions?
Some medical conditions may interfere with the way a breathalyzer functions. For example, if you have indigestion or diabetes, you may fail a breath test. Furthermore, some medications may negatively influence test results.
- Did you eat certain foods?
Lately, the keto diet has been all the rage. While following the diet may cause you to shed unwanted pounds, it may also increase your chances of failing a breath test. Similarly, if you eat certain foods, such as power bars or ripe fruit, the breathalyzer test may mistakenly think your BAC is above the legal limit.
- Did you take the test too soon?
Breathalyzer tests should measure the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream and not the alcohol in your mouth. Unfortunately, though, if you provide a breath sample too soon after drinking, the device may give a false-positive reading based on alcohol residue on your tongue.
- Did the officer administer the test correctly?
Finally, you must realize testing devices are vulnerable to human error. As such, officers must follow procedures to ensure they administer breathalyzer tests correctly. They also must regularly service and calibrate their devices.
Without question, DWI charges can have serious consequences. Fortunately, you do not have to simply trust the validity of a breathalyzer test. On the contrary, by asking some important questions, you may be able to mount a successful defense.