Many people have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) offenses based on nothing other than the police report by the arresting officer and the breath test results from their traffic stop.

In fact, quite a few people will choose to plead guilty after being charged with  DUI because they believe that a breath test showing they were over the legal limit is conclusive, irrefutable evidence. Even people who know they didn’t drink nearly enough for it to affect their driving may think that pleading guilty is the only option. However, it’s important for those facing impaired driving charges to understand that breath tests can and do make mistakes, including false positives.

Issues can arise from the testing unit and the officer performing the test

Breath test units work by detecting molecules from a specific chemical family that includes alcohol. That means that even an accurate breath test could result in a false positive for someone with other chemical compounds from the same family on their breath. Acetone related to ketoacidosis would be one example of a chemical on your breath that could result in a false positive on a breath test.

Beyond that, the potential exists for the unit to provide inaccurate results. These devices require regular calibration and inspection as well as software updates to ensure proper performance. Beyond that, the officer who performs the test should have regular training to ensure that they administer the test properly.

If there is any gap in documentation regarding the unit or the officer who performed the test, you may have grounds to challenge the results. An experienced attorney can get that information and advise you accordingly.