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Factors that may impact breath test accuracy

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2021 | DUI

Alaska has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the nation, and the repercussions you face depend to some degree on your breath test results. Once a law enforcement officer stops your car and suspects you have been drinking, he or she may ask you to blow into a breath test device to determine your degree of impairment. However, several factors have the potential to lead to inaccurate breath test results.

Per BACtrack, the following factors may throw off the accuracy of your breath test results.

An improperly calibrated device

Breath test devices are quite sensitive, and they need regular calibration to ensure accuracy. They also must have functioning batteries to produce accurate results. If there are issues with battery life or if administrators failed to calibrate the device, false readings may result.

Certain substances in the mouth

In some cases, using certain mouthwashes, breath fresheners or even toothache medications have the potential to throw off breath test results. When these substances contain alcohol, they may make it appear as if you consumed alcohol when you really did not.

Administrator errors

Law enforcement officers have to follow certain protocols when administering your breath test. Using a breath test device involves a high degree of care, precision and accuracy. Failing to follow all proper protocols may impact the accuracy of the results of your breath test.

The results of your breath test may mean the difference between jail time, hefty fines and other serious penalties. Therefore, if you suspect your breath test results were inaccurate, it may serve you well to investigate further.