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L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC
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Why DUI Breath Tests are Unreliable


When a person is arrested for a DUI in Ohio, he/she is required to submit to a breath (or blood) test to determine his/her blood alcohol content (BAC). If the individual’s BAC level is at least .08 percent, he/she will surely be convicted of drunk driving.

However, a New York Times investigation found that police breath tests are generally unreliable. After reviewing tens of thousands of pages of court records, confidential e-mails, and other documents, as well as interviewing over 100 attorneys, police officers, scientists, and executives, The Times came to the conclusion that breath testing devices in every U.S. police station produced inaccurate results due to human error and lax oversight by the government.

Several reasons why individuals facing DUI charges should question breath test results include the following:

  • Skewed results – Many issues with breath tests are often caused by human error. Police officers are required to calibrate a device each time prior to use and continually maintain it to ensure the results are accurate; however, many of them fail to calibrate or maintain each device, causing them to produce results that were sometimes 40 percent higher than their actual BAC level. Additionally, the machine’s software may contain significant programming errors that skew results.
  • Implied consent laws – While you may have the option of refusing a post-arrest breath test, doing so will result in an administrative driver’s license suspension that can make it difficult to commute to work or school, make important appointments, and perform household tasks. Despite the faultiness of these devices, law enforcement officials remain confident that they are in working order.
  • States have thrown out cases after discovering testing errors – In the past year, judges in Massachusetts and New Jersey have determined that over 30,000 breath tests were inadmissible due to various errors. In other states, thousands of other tests have been thrown out in recent years.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Ohio and your test results indicated that you were over the legal limit at the time of the arrest, our Dayton legal team at L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC can help you determine if there are mistakes made when police were testing your BAC. If errors are evident, we can file a motion to suppress the test results from the court.

If a judge finds the results inadmissible, the prosecution cannot use this evidence against you. Without key evidence to convict you of the crime, your case could automatically be dismissed.

For more information about DUIs in Ohio, contact us today at (937) 685-7006 and schedule a free consultation.