Police use a variety of tools to determine a driver's level of intoxication. As tests such as a field sobriety test may not provide enough substantial evidence for a DUI conviction, these law enforcement officers often turn to breathalyzer tests. However, many jurisdictions have rightfully discarded their breathalyzer machines for other types of tests, as these breathalyzers often produce incorrect results. The chemicals that are found in people's mouths naturally, even in the absence of alcohol, can distort breathalyzer results.
A breathalyzer test does not always provide accurate results, and does not always constitute indisputable evidence for a DUI charge. If you are facing these serious allegations, contact the Seattle DUI lawyers of Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn at 866-822-1230 today.
Complications with False Positives
When a breathalyzer produces a false positive, a defendant might be wrongfully subjected to harsh DUI penalties. This is problematic because many of these tests register positive for intoxication even when the person is obviously not intoxicated by other reasonable measures. Some of the following diseases can change the chemistry of the mouth, affecting the meter's read-out:
- Acid reflux disease
In addition to these problems, the mouth contains many natural chemicals that contain some of the same basic components as alcohol. Depending on the calibration of the breathalyzer machine, the test results may register compounds that are similar to alcohol as if they were actually alcohol. Considering the severity of a DUI charge or conviction, this mistake can prove extremely serious for a person's professional future.
When administering a breathalyzer test, law enforcement officers may not recognize the suspect's medical history and how that might affect the outcome. If you have been charged with a DUI after a breathalyzer reading in excess of the legal limit, contact the Seattle DUI attorneys of Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn today by calling 866-822-1230.