One of the most important and commonly used tools in suspected drunk driving traffic stops is the Breathalyzer. Law enforcement uses these handheld devices to measure a driver’s blood alcohol content by having a driver breathe directly into the device. The results of these tests can determine whether law enforcement places someone under arrest, and they can have a significant impact on the defendant’s case. It is critical that these devices be accurate and used properly.
Proper calibration of these devices is critical to their function and accuracy when used during traffic stops. Kentucky police must maintain these devices as an inaccurate result could compromise an entire drunk driving case. In fact, if you believe that the results of your Breathalyzer test were not accurate, you could have grounds to challenge the prosecution’s entire case against you.
The right way to calibrate a Breathalyzer
Breathalyzers work by measuring the amount of alcohol vapor one has in his or her breath. Different types of Breathalyzers work differently depending on the type of sensor built into the device. The type of sensor and the calibration of the device can directly impact the accuracy of results. A Breathalyzer device should be set aside for calibration if there are any signs of inconsistent results or problems. Without the presence of problems, Breathalyzers should receive calibration every six to 12 months, or after a few hundred uses.
During calibration, there are specific steps that improve the sensitivity and accuracy of the sensor. Law enforcement should regularly test their devices and calibrate them as needed. Additionally, police should receive extensive training regarding how to use these devices during a DUI traffic stop. If improper police procedure affected your case in any way, a court may determine that all of the evidence against you that originated from the traffic stop is invalid and inadmissible in court.
Challenging Breathalyzer results
The results of a Breathalyzer test could be the determining factor in your arrest. Challenging these results is not always easy, but you have the right to pursue this course of action if you believe that the case against you is not accurate. Due to the nature of drunk driving cases, you will benefit from seeking an assessment of your case as quickly as possible after an arrest. This can provide you with insight into the ways you can challenge Breathalyzer results and defend your interests against a DUI.