Breathalyzer tests are not always considered reliable which is why drivers who have been accused of drunk driving should be familiar with breathalyzer test requirements. Preparing a drunk driving defense may include challenges to a breathalyzer test which is why accused drivers need to be familiar with the options available for calling a breathalyzer test into question if necessary.
Breathalyzer test requirements
Requirements that breathalyzer tests must meet include:
- Properly calibrated and maintained – breathalyzer tests must be properly calibrated and maintained at set intervals to be considered reliable and to provide accurate results.
- Properly administered: breathalyzer tests must be properly administered which includes ensuring that the accused driver’s bodily functions do not interfere with the breathalyzer test results for the test results to be considered accurate.
- Properly administered by someone trained to do so: breathalyzer tests must be properly administered by someone, such as a police officer, who was properly trained to do so and to use the particular device used. In addition, the police officer must actually administer the breathalyzer test according the appropriate training they have received for the test results to be considered reliable.
- List of conforming devices: the breathalyzer test used should be on a list of conforming test devices that are considered reliable.
- Results captured: to be considered reliable, the breathalyzer test must capture to readings within .02 of one another.
There are a variety of requirements breathalyzer tests must meet to be considered accurate and reliable. It is useful for accused drivers to be familiar with the requirements for breathalyzer tests and for police officers administering them in order to determine if a challenge to a breathalyzer test as part of their criminal defense approach and strategy is appropriate.