David G. Moore Attorney At Law
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Are Michigan breathalyzer test readings always accurate?


For many Michiganders, there are times in their lives when they unintentionally brush up against the law. One of the more common criminal offenses faced by those in Kalamazoo is drunk driving. An individual may have a few drinks with friends or family and feel fine to drive. Yet, when they are pulled over by police and given a breathalyzer test, law enforcement may tell them differently. Based on the breathalyzer's reading, police may place a driver under arrest, kicking off a long and damaging legal matter.

It is important for those who have been accused of drunk driving to know that a breathalyzer reading may not be accurate. In fact, law enforcement must follow specific protocols to ensure that their equipment is capable of delivering accurate results. Breathalyzers must be maintained properly and routinely tested for accuracy.

Those who conduct breathalyzer tests must be qualified to do so. He or she must be certified, and the test must be performed in accordance with that certification. The administrator also must ensure the driver does not burp, smoke, vomit or eat immediately before the test. That may result in an inaccurate reading. Additionally, the individual giving the test must ensure that multiple readouts come back within a specific range, which gives rise to an inference of accuracy.

Far too often, individuals who are accused of drunk driving and are subsequently charged with DUI think they have lost their battle before it has even begun simply because of an unfavorable breathalyzer test result. Yet, experienced criminal defense attorneys know how to challenge these results and how to fight for reduced or eliminated penalties, which could allow an accused individual to walk away from the matter and back to his or her normal life.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Breathalyzer Calibration," accessed on Sep. 4, 20115

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