Factors that can impact the accuracy of a breath test

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2017 | Firm News

If you are driving and subsequently pulled over because authorities believe you have been drinking, you can expect that the law enforcement official who stops you will ask you to submit to a breath test. Conducted using a device called a Breathalyzer, breath tests are tools authorities rely on to assess your degree of impairment behind the wheel. When calibrated correctly and properly maintained, Breathalyzers are often accurate, but there are a number of outside factors that can lead them to produce false readings. 

These factors include:

Electronic interference

It may sound strange, but electronic interference can impact the results of your breath test, causing you to demonstrate that you have a blood alcohol content that is higher than is accurate or legal. Electronic interference can come from a number of different places, among them police radios, cellphone towers and signals and so on.


If you have diabetes, it is important to note that your condition has the capacity to impact your breath test results. Diabetics can have unusually high levels of acetone in their systems, and this can lead to falsely inflated Breathalyzer readings. This is due to the fact that the devices cannot always determine whether ethyl molecules in your system are the result of drinking or diabetes.

Blood or vomit in your mouth

If you have vomit or blood in your mouth when a law enforcement official administers your breath test, know that this, too, can throw off its results. Most authorities know this, and most are also instructed to wait for a period of time (typically about 20 minutes) after you vomit to administer your breath test.

These are just some of the outside factors that can affect the accuracy of your breath test. Because the stakes are so high, and the penalties associated with drinking and driving, so considerable, you want to be sure that your Breathalyzer test results are 100 percent accurate.