Your Breathalyzer Test Could Be Wrong

Chances are, if you are pulled over by the police in Michigan for suspected driving under the influence, you will be worried about what happens next. The officer will likely want to test your alcohol level. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test is commonly used to see if a person has been drinking recently. The BAC test shows levels between 0% (no alcohol) to over 0.4% (a potentially fatal level). 

BAC for Drivers Under Michigan Law 

In Michigan, it is a crime for a driver, who is age 21 or older, to have a BAC of 0.08% or greater if behind the wheel. If a driver is under the age of 21, a value of 0.02% or greater is a crime. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, drivers at both 0.02% and 0.08% BAC levels are at a greater risk of having an accident: 

  • BAC 0.02%: Drivers are “tipsy” and typically will have a slight loss of judgment and altered mood
  • BAC 0.08%: Drivers at this BAC level have issues detecting danger, are unable to make sound decisions, and may take increased risks.

Blood Tests Are The Most Reliable Indicator of BAC 

Blood tests tend to be the most reliable way to judge the levels of alcohol in a person’s body. There are less environmental factors that need to be considered when interpreting a blood test. Typically, the blood tests are reliable, but not always. Sometimes, there are problems with blood tests too. Here are some reasons:

  1. The blood sample can be taken too late, affecting the levels either increasing or decreasing.
  2. The medical professional could be using an expired test kit
  3. There could be improper handling or storage of the blood sample 
  4. Some medications can influence the accuracy of the test
  5. The sample could have been contaminated 
  6. Some medical conditions affect the results of blood tests
  7. Sometimes the particular way the blood is analyzed can skew the test results
  8. Sometimes, the testing equipment is not properly calibrated

Despite this list, blood tests are still more accurate than roadside breath tests. 

Roadside BAC Tests, and Other Breathalyzers Tests, Are Often Inaccurate 

The breathalyzer tests at the police station tend to be more sophisticated than handheld devices used at the side of the road. However, both of these types of tests are less accurate than the blood tests. That is because breathalyzer tests can be affected by a lot of different factors. These are:

  1. Poor calibration and mantaintence
  2. Some over-the-counter and prescription medications 
  3. Presence of saliva or vomit 
  4. Recent use of mouthwash 
  5. Consumption of food with sugar alcohols or cooked with alcohol 
  6. Other environmental factors

Police officers in Michigan do not use a breathalyzer brand device. Instead, they use a different testing device at the police station. It is called a datamaster. 

The Kronzek Firm can help you answer your questions about your DUI charge

Our skilled drunk driving defense team is here to help you. If you are searching for expert legal representation in the lower peninsula of michigan, our firm has represented thousands of people in michigan. From lansing, eaton county, jackson county and clinton county, to livingston county, ionia county and jackson county, we’ve gotten great results for our clients. To set up your free consultation today, call 866 – 7 No Jail (866-766-5245). We’re available 24/7, including nights and weekends for crisis intervention.

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