DiLorenzo & Rush | Counselors of Law
Stepping Up & Standing Out

Are breath test results accurate?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2022 | Criminal Defense

If police suspect drivers of driving under the influence of alcohol, they will most likely request that the driver submit a breath test. This position can be incredibly stressful. You may not know how to respond. Plus, news reports and studies began to question the accuracy of breath tests in the last few years.

So, what should you know about alcohol breath tests?

What could affect the results of a breath test?

Breath tests are reasonably accurate for the most part nowadays. Even so, there is still a margin of error. The accuracy can depend on several factors, including:

  1. The brand or type of breath test
  2. Improper calibration of the devices
  3. Improper execution of the test

Training is required to accurately maintain these devices and perform the test. If officers do not observe the requirements and proper procedures, then the test result will likely be inaccurate.

Additionally, breath tests might even detect other food items, beverages or medications on your breath and give a false-positive result for alcohol in your system.

But refusing breath tests has risks

With so many factors that could impact the accuracy of a breath test at play, many people might think they should avoid taking the test altogether. However, it is important to be aware that refusing a breath test – regardless of these factors – could have serious consequences.

New Jersey has a strict implied consent law. In short, this means that the moment you receive your driver’s license, you give your consent to take breath and chemical tests if suspected of driving under the influence.

But what if the results are wrong?

One of the key parts of fighting DUI charges is challenging the evidence. Investigating the procedures and results of the breath and chemical tests is essential to establish a strong defense. If the results are inaccurate, or improper procedures bar the results from being admissible in court, it could help defend you and your future against DUI charges.