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Breathalyzers: a common policing tool, but far from infallible

Here's a scenario that can be truly frightening for a motorist in Florida or anywhere else in the country: suffering consequences stemming from a flatly wrong reading supplied by a breathalyzer machine administered by a police officer.

It is of course not news to most people that severe repercussions can attach to a drunk driving arrest that ultimately results in a criminal conviction. Many people don't immediately appreciate, however, that adverse consequences can befall even individuals who are arrested for DUI and subsequently exonerated.

In other words: There can be fallout -- unwanted interaction with the police, costs expended, time lost due to court appointments, problems with employers and more -- even in instances where breathalyzer findings are discredited.

Floridians who feel that they were subjected to faulty breathalyzer testing pursuant to a police stop might reasonably want to note that those machines have been challenged by motorists across the country in legions of instances. In many of those cases, drivers have prevailed.

A bottom line truth with breathalyzers is that they are far from infallible. In fact, they have a demonstrated history of error that has led to unjust results for drivers in many states, including incarceration and heavy fines.

In fact, and as noted by a media article discussing breathalyzer-related problems, wrongful convictions have resulted in municipalities across the country. Documented evidence has emerged regarding many error-inducing problems associated with breathalyzers, including source code errors, faulty calibration, irregular maintenance and improperly trained police officers administering tests.

An experienced drunk driving defense attorney knows well that the results of breathalyzer testing can be flawed in any given case. A proven DUI attorney will anticipate that and closely examine all breathalyzer and other evidence in a case in an effort to mitigate adverse consequences for a client to the fullest extent possible.

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