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Can A Breathalyzer Accurately Diagnose Drunk Driving?

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | January 29, 2015

When somebody is pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, police are going to do everything they can to make a final determination as to whether or not the person is legally drunk. This typically leads to the use of a breathalyzer test.

In short, a breathalyzer test is used to determine a person's breath alcohol content. From there, police can decide if the person is legally drunk or under the legal limit.

On the surface, this appears to be a fair way to test a person who may have been drinking. However, there are some questions regarding the legitimacy of the test.

According to an article published by the National Motorists Association, studies have shown that breathalyzer tests may not be as accurate as the authorities want people to believe. Here is a passage from the association:

"Peer reviewed and uncontested studies (LaBianca, Simpson, Thompson et.al.) prove a margin of error of 50 % when comparing breathalyzer estimates of Blood alcohol content to actual Blood alcohol content! That means a breathalyzer reading of .1 % represents a Blood alcohol content level somewhere between .05 % and .15%.'

As you can see, this is anything but a 100 percent accurate way to determine if a person is driving under the influence of alcohol.

There is no place in today's world for drinking and driving, as it increases the chance of a person causing an accident. Even so, police have to be fair in the way they determine if a person is under the influence.

Many people consult with an attorney after a DUI arrest, as they want to make sure they were treated fairly.

Source: National Motorists Association, "Breathalyzers Fail Legitimacy Test" accessed Jan. 29, 2015

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