How accurate is a Breathalyzer test?
Unfortunately, a breathalyzer is not the most accurate means of determining actual blood alcohol levels. Error margins vary depending on who is doing the study, but generally, between 15 and 23 percent of tests show an alcohol level exceeding the true blood alcohol level.
A blood test is far more accurate. This need to be done immediately for best results. There is a history of DUI cases being dismissed when a blood test shows that the defendant was not above legal limits. In most cities, law enforcement uses breathalyzer testing in conjunction with both field sobriety tests and blood testing to build their case.
Should I actually blow into the Breathalyzer?
Refusal to breathe into the breathalyzer can lead to major consequences. To begin, you will likely spend the night in jail because officers have authority to arrest you for reasonable suspicion of DUI, even without a test. It can also impact your license, seeing as many states revoke driving privileges for a test refusal.
Of course, if you test higher than the “legal limit,” you will also have your license revoked. This leads to no clear answer. If you suspect you may blow over the limit, it may be better to refuse the test and instead request a field sobriety test. If you can perform the field test, you may be able to drop the criminal charges in court, thus saving your license and preventing a conviction.
Under the constitution you are not obligated to prosecute yourself. Instead, you have a right to make sure that everything is handled properly. If you or someone you know has received a DUI, contact us at Harris & Huge.