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Commonly used breathalyzer test may have flaws

Tennessee residents understand that driving after they have been drinking is not a good idea. A drunk driving conviction is a serious matter, often resulting in thousands of dollars in fines, a tarnished reputation and even jail time. Many times, a person receives a drunk driving conviction because of a breathalyzer test. But researchers say a common breathalyzer used by law enforcement may not be accurate.

A new report is pointing to the possibility of a Draeger breathalyzer having faulty source code. The breathalyzer's source code was analyzed by software engineers who reported that there were issues with the code that could affect breathalyzer results. The report indicated that under certain conditions the breathalyzer reported inflated alcohol readings. Breath temperature can also affect the readings with a single digit over a normal breath temperature increasing a person's BAC level by up to six percent. The report also said the fuel cell used declines over time, but the computer code is flawed when it adjusts the results.

Many states are involved in legal cases regarding the accuracy of breathalyzer tests. A person who is facing a drunk driving charge understands how serious this situation is. A legal professional who is skilled in drunk driving defense can help their client receive the best possible outcome for their case. An attorney can investigate whether the officer had probably cause to pull over their client, whether the BAC levels were accurate and if the sobriety tests were properly conducted. An attorney understands that a drunk driving conviction can lead to serious consequences, including loss of a driver's license and the installation of an ignition interlock device. A person facing these charges should know their legal rights and work to ensure they receive the best possible legal defense.

A breathalyzer is often used to measure a person's blood alcohol level. Because a drunk driving conviction carries such serious consequences, it is important that the breathalyzer test results are accurate.

Source:, "Researchers say a breathalyzer has flaws, casting doubt on countless convictions", Zack Whittaker, May 10, 2018

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