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DUI: How Accurate is the Breathalyzer?

DUI laws in Georgia can be very complex, and while hopefully you are not ever planning on getting behind the wheel as a drunk driver or someone under the influence of drugs, it is important to know what to do in the case of a traffic stop where you may be questioned about where you have been, and whether you were consuming alcohol. Running into a situation like a DUI roadblock can be extremely unsettling, and most individuals are not prepared to handle such a situation, leaving them vulnerable to what may be leading questions by law enforcement, resulting in misunderstandings that could work against you in court.

If you have been charged, you may be extremely nervous about what is going to happen, and this is understandable, as you may be worried about the expense, potential time in jail, complications like getting your car out of the impounded area, loss of your license, and more. You may also have heard things that are not true surrounding the legal process.

Many questions regarding DUI and consequent arrests center around the breathalyzer test, beginning with whether or not you should take one, opt for a blood test, along with debates regarding the efficacy and accuracy of devices used by law-enforcement out in the field. While you might expect that law enforcement would be using high-tech, accurate devices, that is not always the case; in fact, many breathalyzers vary in their readings and are a common topic of debate (as well as a line of defense) in the courtroom as attorneys question readings from breathalyzers that may have given false positives or completely inaccurate readings.

Numerous issues can affect a breathalyzer, such as error on the part of law enforcement, lack of consistency in taking the test several times, environmental issues such as fumes or toxins in the air, calibration, and other substances that the person taking the test may have consumed previously—especially those that may have sugar in them such as mouthwash or even the remnants of a high carbohydrate meal that could have turned into sugar in the mouth—mimicking alcohol.

If you have taken a breathalyzer or a blood test, there is also the option of requesting an independent test (to be paid for by you). In this case, the officer is expected to take you to the facility of your choosing, within obvious reason. And while this is your right, such a request may be scrutinized by the court in terms of how far away the lab was, how long the delay was before the independent blood test was given, and the details regarding arrangement and payment of the test. If you have refused to take a chemical test offered by law enforcement, the option of requesting an independent blood test is not available.

If you had a valid reason for refusing to take a Breathalyzer or blood test, your attorney may be able to help you overturn the possibility of an immediate one-year suspension of your license. You probably have many questions if you have been charged with DUI, from wondering whether you will have to go to jail to worrying about getting your license back. Speak with an experienced DUI attorney from the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. Call now to learn more at 912-764-9616, or contact us online.