man blowing into a breathalyzer device

Why Is Breathalyzer Calibration Important for DUI Defense?

Many people believe that the number that a breathalyzer presents is always accurate. However, this is far from the truth. Multiple factors can impact a breathalyzer reading, and one of them is the machine itself.

Factors That Affect Breath Tests

There are numerous factors that can affect the accuracy of breathalyzer test results.

Examples include:

  • The driver’s medical history
  • The driver’s current medical conditions
  • The driver’s recent burping or vomiting
  • The driver’s recent use of products containing alcohols, like mouthwash
  • The officer’s training on how to use the device
  • The way the officer administered the test

A major factor that many people often forget is whether or not the device itself has been well maintained and calibrated according to standards.

Breathalyzer Calibration Standards

According to Utah law, breathalyzer calibration is the “manual setting of specific levels on a breathalyzer by a person trained to reset the device to ensure as accurate results as possible.”

Utah law also states that breathalyzers must be calibrated every 30 days or 300 uses. Failure to do so can lead to inaccurate readings.
Proving The Breathalyzer Was Uncalibrated
You may be wondering, even if the breathalyzer was not calibrated per the requirements, how can this be proven?

Breathalyzer data is recorded and stored by a third party, including calibration records. Your attorney will likely be able to subpoena these records. If the device records show the machine was not calibrated at the time of your breath test, you can question the accuracy of the results.

Challenging BAC Results in Salt Lake City

If a breath test showed you were above the legal limit of 0.05% BAC, don’t give up. There are numerous ways to challenge the reliability of the results, one of which is investigating the maintenance and calibration of the breathalyzer device. Our team at Lokken & Putnam, P.C. has helped countless clients fight their DUI charges using creative defense strategies. After we learn more about your unique situation, we can begin working on the strongest defense for you. Call us at (801) 829-9783 today.