A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge is determined based on blood alcohol content (BAC) levels, but what if the tool used to measure these levels is not properly calibrated? Courts across the country are facing this question, and one court in Florida reviewing DUI cases refuses to admit breathalyzer results from faulty machines.
Faulty Breathalyzer Issue Exemplified in Philadelphia
This concern was fueled by recent allegations in Philadelphia. A local newspaper reported use of a miscalibrated breathalyzer for over three months. The breathalyzer results are now causing review of over 400 arrests.
This is not the first report of flawed breathalyzer use. The Los Angeles Times reported review of over 300 drunken driving cases because of faulty breathalyzers in April, 2011, with Washington D.C. and Minneapolis also reporting similar issues.
Questionable Breathalyzer use in Florida
Closer to home, Florida Department of Law Enforcement continues to defend results from breathalyzer machines ruled inadmissible in courts in Venice, FL.
The potential for inaccurate results may make it tempting to refuse a breathalyzer test, but this is generally not recommended. Under Florida's Implied Consent Law, anyone with a driver's license gives consent to take a blood, breath or urine chemical test. As a result, refusal can lead to a driver's license suspension of one year.
The accuracy of breathalyzer tests continues to face scrutiny. If you or a loved one were charged with a DUI, it is important to discuss your legal rights with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.