Breathalyzer laws and possible challenges 

 March 30, 2022

By  LMW Attorneys

A breathalyzer allows an officer to check the blood alcohol content of
drivers suspected of DUI. The officer may first conduct field sobriety tests
before they administer a breathalyzer test. However, breathalyzers are
not always accurate, and drivers in New Port Richey, Florida, have the
right to challenge the results.

Breathalyzers and implied consent
Implied consent laws mean that a driver agrees to chemical tests to check
for DUI when they apply for driving privileges. These laws commonly do
not apply to tests given before arrest, such as field sobriety tests and
portable breathalyzers pre-arrest. The portable breathalyzer test is only
admissible for standard or commercial drivers if they violate zero-
tolerance laws.

Breathalyzer tests determine a driver’s blood alcohol content or the
amount of alcohol per 100 liters of blood. Drivers who measure 0.08 or
more can get arrested for DUI, and it’s even possible to be arrested for
testing below the limit if the driver is visibly impaired.

Defenses to results
A breathalyzer device must be calibrated periodically to check the
software for accuracy, or it could give false results. The defense may
subpoena the calibration and maintenance records at the defendant’s
request if they doubt the accuracy of the test. They can also challenge the
officer’s training and whether the device is on the list of acceptable

Certain medical conditions have been known to give false results, such as
diabetes, because of acetones. Acetones are chemicals in the body that
have alcoholic properties similar to those in paint and nail polish.
Sometimes, everyday products, such as mouthwash and cough
medication, and foods made from yeast can skew breathalyzer results.

The officer needs reasonable suspicion to pull a driver over and check
them for impairment, such as swerving. Another element that needs to be
present is probable cause, which means the officer must legally collect
evidence of DUI.

If drivers refuse a breathalyzer after arrest, they face a one-year license
suspension effective immediately. However, a charge for DUI doesn’t
mean guilty, and the defense may be able to cast doubt to get the charges

If you or anybody you know has been charged with DUI, call the attorneys at Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A. We’re here to help.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended to be for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.