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3 Ways a BAC Breathalyzer Test Can Be Wrong

Although they are commonly used to test for impairment, breathalyzers are far less reliable than many people think. There are many, many different ways for the results of a breathalyzer test to be incorrect; in this blog, our Kansas City DUI lawyer takes a look at three common issues that may lead to inaccurate results.

Arrested in Kansas City or the surrounding areas? Call (913) 583-0465 today for the tough criminal defense you need.

1. Improperly Calibrated/Administered

Breathalyzers are notoriously finicky pieces of equipment and must be regularly calibrated to maintain their accuracy. The results of a breathalyzer test could be inaccurate, and should certainly be dismissed as evidence if any of the following are true:

  • Breathalyzer was not recently calibrated
  • Breathalyzer was not calibrated correctly
  • The calibrator was faulty

There are also specific procedures for how these tests should be administered. Failure to administer the test properly can yield wildly inaccurate results, and a good Kansas City DUI attorney can typically get this evidence dismissed or suppressed.

2. Your Dental Hygiene

When you use mouthwash, chewing tobacco or certain breath sprays, the alcohol that stays behind in your mouth can dramatically alter the results of a breathalyzer test. However, “mouth alcohol” can also come from a number of different sources. If you have food stuck in your teeth or dental work like bridges, caps and dentures, these particles can absorb alcohol, causing high readings even if you haven’t had a drink in hours. Denture adhesives are also known to cause false readings.

3. A Health Condition

Gastrointestinal Reflex Disease, commonly known as acid reflux, is a medical condition known to cause false readings on a breathalyzer test. Individuals with this condition often experience a regurgitation of stomach gases, vapors and juices back up into their esophagus. While this is known to cause heartburn, many people are unaware that it can also lead to incorrectly high readings in a BAC test.

A DUI conviction carries serious penalties. Contact us today for your free consultation.


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attorney rokusek is a mock trial instructor for the johnson county police academy and serves on the federal criminal justice academy (cja) panel for the district of kansas and on the federal attorney appointment list. she is also a master attorney in the earl e. o'connor american inn of court.

at rokusek law, llc, our lawyers have a reputation for offering a high-standard of professional service. this is shown by the multiple honors that we’ve been awarded over the years.

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