Taking breathalyzer tests can be a pretty startling experience. One moment, you’re in the bar— having fun with friends. The next, you jump behind the wheel of your car, get pulled over, and now here you are. Maybe you only drank two beers, but much quicker than you normally would. Or maybe, you drank four beers very slowly. When you blow, you might be surprised at how far over the legal limit you are. You didn’t feel that drunk. You weren’t acting drunk. And you weren’t driving recklessly. In fact, the officer pulled you over just because of a broken taillight. However, a breathalyzer never lies… does it?

Breathalyzer Tests: How Accurate?

Actually breathalyzer testing, just like most technologies, is not a perfect science. They are very, very accurate. However, they aren’t always completely reliable. The human body is extremely complex, and each body breaks down and processes alcohol in a different way. Your weight, body fat percentage, and metabolism, amongst other factors— do play a part in your breathalyzer tests’ results.

Blood tests are the only 100% reliable means of testing BAC

Therefore, the ONLY 100% reliable way to test for BAC is through a blood test. However, researchers debate breathalyzers’s accuracy. However, generally, experts agree that breath readings can be up to 15% inaccurate. Therefore, a breathalyzer test could show that a defendant is guilty of a DUI, while a blood test might just say otherwise…

breathalyzer tests What Causes Breathalyzer Inaccuracy?

One reason that researchers believe breath testing has a measurable rate of inaccuracy is because of a natural human response. That officer says “breathalyzer” and we begin to worry. It seems that no matter if you’re guilty or not, this can shake you to your core. So, many begin to breathe heavily. What you might not realize, is that hyperventilation, or heavy breathing, can cause inaccurate results in your breathalyzer.

Ultimately, if you feel that the breathalyzer was inaccurate, you should request a blood test and a lawyer. DUI can be a scary process, but it isn’t one you have to go through alone. So, consult with proper representation. Doing so, will ensure that the process moves as quickly and easily as possible.