When you are stopped for the suspicion of drunk driving, you will likely be asked to submit to testing to determine your blood alcohol concentration. This information is likely going to be used in a criminal case against you. Interestingly, there are several forms of testing that might occur.
The two most commonly used tests involve testing your breath or blood. The breath test done is usually the Breathalyzer test. A blood screening is also possible, but it is less likely to be used because of the test is considered invasive. Other tests include those done on hair follicles, saliva and urine.
While blood testing is considered the most accurate of these BAC tests, Breathalyzers are considered accurate enough to be entered into cases as evidence. Independent studies have revealed that the Breathalyzer might not be as accurate as some think. Some studies have shown that the accuracy of the device could vary by as much as 15 percent when compared to a blood test.
When it comes to how these tests impact your criminal case, you might be surprised. Breathalyzer tests can sometimes be challenged based on a variety of factors including the maintenance records for the machine. A Breathalyzer that isn’t calibrated properly wouldn’t be likely to give the accurate results that must be present for a criminal case.
It is important to explore every option for a defense if you are fighting the drunk driving charges. This includes looking into the testing method used to determine BAC so that any issues that are found can be brought up as part of the defense.
Source: FindLaw, “BAC Test FAQs,” accessed Nov. 16, 2016