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Factors that can impact Breathalyzer accuracy

A conviction for a Virginia drinking and driving charge can bring with it considerable consequences, and it has the potential to set you back financially as well as professionally. You may, too, face jail time, mandatory substance abuse treatment requirements and other potential penalties for your actions following a Virginia DUI or DWI conviction. Because the penalties associated with drinking and driving are so substantial, it is critical that your breath test results paint a clear and accurate picture of your alcohol consumption. At Madigan and Scott, Inc., we understand that certain factors can throw off Breathalyzer accuracy, and we have assisted many Virginia residents facing DUI or DWI charges defend themselves.

Per AlcoholAlert.com, one of several factors that can potentially lead to a falsely elevated breath test is temperature. Breathalyzers are highly sensitive to outside temperatures as well as a suspect’s internal temperature, and in some cases, temperatures have the capacity to affect test results.

Electronic interference from any number of different sources can also potentially cause higher-than-accurate Breathalyzer readings. Police radios coming from law enforcement official vehicles, for example, is one possible form of electronic interference that can throw off breath test results, and cellphone towers and signals can do the same.

If you are diabetic, it is important that you recognize that diabetes can also impact breath test results. How? Breathalyzers identify any ethyl alcohol structures found on your breath, but they cannot always determine exactly where those structures come from. For example, while acetone on your breath may indicate alcohol consumption, it may also just be a side effect of your diabetic condition. Find more about criminal defense on our webpage.

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Madigan and Scott, Inc.
7880 Backlick Road
Suite 2
Springfield, VA 22150

Phone: 703-455-1800
Fax: 703-451-4121
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