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Factors that can impact Breathalyzer accuracy

When an Indiana law enforcement official pulls you to the side of the road and believes you may have been drinking and driving, you can expect that he or she will request that you submit to a breath test using a device called a Breathalyzer. The Breathalyzer gives authorities an idea of your level of impairment behind the wheel, and its results will typically play a major role in whether you receive a conviction for such an offense.

The big problem with Breathalyzers, however, is that they do not always produce accurate results. In fact, there are numerous circumstances that can lead them to produce false results, which in turn can lead to a driving under the influence conviction and considerable associated penalties. Because so much depends on the results of your breath test, you want to feel confident that the results it reveals are completely accurate. Therefore, it is important that you recognize that the following factors have the potential to affect Breathalyzer accuracy.


If you have diabetes, you may find that your breath test results indicate that you consumed alcohol even if you have not, in fact, done so. How? Breath tests typically pick up on any compound in your breath that has a methyl molecule structure, and diabetics sometimes produce acetone, which is one such compound. In other words, you may have acetone on your breath as a result of your condition rather than your consumption of alcohol, but a breath test cannot always tell the difference.

Electronic interference

Another outside factor that can lead to a falsely elevated Breathalyzer result is electronic interference. How? Electronic devices, such as the Breathalyzer, are susceptible to electromagnetic interference, meaning outside factors such as police radios and cellphone signals, among others, can lead to false breath test results.

If you distrust the results of your breath test, you may find it beneficial to investigate further. Ultimately, your ability to work, find housing and so on may depend largely on the results of this one test.


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