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  • Published: September 28, 2023

Is The Breathalyzer Really Accurate Or Trustworthy? What You Need To Know When Charged With A DWI Or DUI In New York StateIf you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated in New York State, you may be wondering about the Breathalyzer machine (often referred to as the “Breathalyzer instrument”) and whether its results are accurate. You simply do not believe the breathalyzer’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (B.A.C.) results returned in your case. You are not alone. Many individuals who are arrested for DWI harbor that impression. It is based on how they felt at the time of the incident and police encounter. While I would not totally rely or correlate one’s feelings when arrested with the accuracy of the Breathalyzer’s results, it is important to question the police and prosecution’s notion that Breathalyzer’s results are failsafe. The breathalyzer is not a magical instrument who results are rarely wrong or inaccurate. Breathalyzer results, to the contrary, can be inaccurate and have been discovered as such in many instances when around the country.

Can You Trust The Breathalyzer?

There are requirements that must come together regarding a Breathalyzer’s proper operation and accurate results. Inaccuracy issues often surround operator error and lax instrument calibration. Proper calibration includes that of its simulator solution; i.e., a device with a liquid or gas solution (“simulator”) that is often compared to an attached portable drunk with a .10% B.A.C. The Breathalyzer machine tests the simulator solution prior to securing the arrested motorist’s breath sample as a form of preliminary test-run to ensure the machine is operating properly. It the cleans or purges itself before providing instruction to secure the arrested motorist’s sample.

Many aspects must come together for the Breathalyzer’s B.A.C. to be accurate. Some of the aspects include the officer’s proper administration of the breathalyzer in accordance with its checklist; the officer’s required monitoring of the motorist for at least 15 minutes prior to administering the test; the machine’s required calibration (at least annually typically,) the instrument’s reports, the required testing of the machine’s simulator solution, and other areas beyond the scope of this article (we won’t go into the more technical aspects such as its gas chromatogram charts produced…)

All of the above areas should be closely scrutinized by an experienced, knowledgeable, DWI defense attorney or other industry expert. If you are in Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Putnam, or Sullivan counties, or anywhere else in New York State, consider reaching out to attorney Randall F. Inniss of XTROOPER Defense at (845) 533-0265. As a former 22-year state trooper, he has the experience and insight to review aspect surrounding the Breathalyzer and other critical areas of your case. Your future and freedom may depend on it!

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