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Improper breath test calibration can yield faulty results

| Jan 13, 2016 | Drunk Driving |

If people are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence in New York, it is entirely possible that the police may ask them to submit to a breath test. However, these tests are not infallible. In fact, an improperly calibrated breath test instrument or the improper use of such an instrument can lead to a faulty reading.

New City residents may be interested in learning more about how a breath test instrument must be calibrated. It is important to understand that the laws regarding breath test calibration vary by state, so it may be necessary to seek legal advice if people believe a breath test they submitted to yielded an improper reading due to an improperly calibrated instrument.

In general, however, there are some guidelines police must follow when administering a breath test. First of all, the breath test instrument should be listed as an acceptable device for performing such tests. These types of instruments should be regularly checked and kept in good working order.

In addition, the officer conducting the test should receive certification in using that particular instrument, and should perform the test per the person’s training. It is also important that the individual being tested has not recently smoked, vomited, belched or consumed food. Finally, the breath test instrument should record at least two measurable results that vary only by 0.02 percent or less.

Accusations of drunk driving in New York are very serious. Faulty breath test results could lead to an improper conviction and a whole host of other negative consequences. Therefore, it is important that individuals who believe their breath test result was due to an improperly calibrated instrument challenge those results in court.

Source: FindLaw, “Breathalyzer Calibration,” Accessed Jan. 12, 2016

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