Breathalyzer Tests

A Commonly Used Device In DWI Arrests

If you are suspected of driving under the influence in New York, you will likely be required to take a Breathalyzer test. This assessment, which requires you to blow into the testing device, is designed to determine the amount of blood alcohol content (BAC) in your system. If you are tested and deemed to have a BAC over the legal limit, you will be arrested for DWI.

Drivers of passenger vehicles who are of legal drinking age are subject to a BAC limit of .08 percent with significantly lower thresholds applying to commercial motorists and those under the age of 21. Operators who are on duty may be cited for intoxicated driving upon registering a BAC level of .04 percent or higher. Drivers under 21 face a limit of half that, or .02 percent

You can schedule a consultation with one of our New York City DWI lawyers by calling

Calling 212-500-3273

Questioning Breathalyzer Test Results

Something that many people do not realize is that BAC readings taken using Breathalyzer devices may not reflect the amount of alcohol that is truly in a person’s system. Certain circumstances may create artificially high readings.. Given that the Breathalyzer results are typically the determining factor in whether law enforcement officials make a DWI arrest, this can be cause for concern.

There are a number of factors that can call the accuracy of a Breathalyzer test into question. These include:

  • Improper administration of tests — the police officer administering the test may not have followed the correct procedures for administering the test.
  • Poor maintenance — a machine may have not been serviced according to its proper maintenance schedule, leading to skewed or inaccurate results.
  • The presence of foreign substances — mouthwash, blood and vomit can all influence the BAC level registered during a breath test.
  • Certain health conditions — the breathalyzer test is designed to test for the presence of alcohol, but cannot test for specific alcohol types. A diabetic who has high blood sugar may produce a higher reading due to ketosis, but this alcohol is isopropyl alcohol — not ethyl alcohol, which is the kind found in alcoholic beverages. Poor calibration a Breathalyzer device may be improperly calibrated, making it impossible for the equipment to provide reliably accurate test results.

These are only some of the reasons that may explain why a Breathalyzer test may be skewed. In the event a BAC reading is shown to be inaccurate, the court may deem results from the test inadmissible, making it possible that a DWI charge against you may be dropped.

Contact A New York City DWI Lawyer Today

If you have been stopped for suspected DWI, it is important to know that you have the right to refuse any field sobriety assessment or breath test that police wish to administer. However, keep in mind that refusing a test will likely mean arrest, and often carries additional penalties such as automatic license suspension.

If you are facing DWI charges and you think  there  may have been errors with your Breathalyzer tests, or if you refused tests and are now facing the consequences, an experienced attorney can help. This professional can closely examine the evidence in your case and may be able to develop a DWI defense.

Arrange a consultation with a New York City DWI attorney by
Calling 212-500-3273