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Breathalyzer Issues That May Lead to An Unfair DWI Charge

by May 24, 2022Criminal Defense Attorney, DWI / DUI, Sam Edmunds

Breathalyzers are commonly used by law enforcement when they pull someone over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. A breathalyzer is an interesting piece of technology that is meant to measure the amount of alcohol in your blood by analyzing your breath. The suspected drunk driver must blow into the breathalyzer for several seconds, and the machine will analyze that person’s blood alcohol concentration almost immediately. 

You may think that a breathalyzer showing a BAC above the legal limit is all the evidence law enforcement needs to convict someone of a DWI. But, just like other technology, there can be issues with a breathalyzer machine that may lead to an unfair charge.

False Positives Lead to Unfair Charges

When most people wonder what can make you fail an alcohol test, they may not realize that they may have to fight back against an inaccurate test result. Sadly, one major issue with breathalyzers is that they have the potential to give a false positive. This may happen for several reasons. First, a breathalyzer can be incorrectly calibrated so that it misinterprets the BAC of the suspect. Second, if a breathalyzer malfunctions, it won’t matter whether or not it was calibrated correctly; it can give an inaccurate result regardless. Another common issue with breathalyzers is that the test may be administered improperly by law enforcement. This may happen if the officers are careless or have not been correctly trained to use the device.

Can Breathalyzers Be Wrong?

If you would like to avoid being unfairly charged with a DWI, what can you do about these potential issues with a false positive breathalyzer test? In some cases it may be better for you to decline to take the breathalyzer test in the field. There are consequences for this refusal, but it is an option. It’s important to know your rights before you are pulled over for a suspected DWI because you will not be able to consult a criminal defense lawyer in MN during the traffic stop. However, you may be able to speak to an attorney before taking a required test later on..

If you have already been charged with a DWI but believe this was an error due to an incorrect breathalyzer reading, it is very important that you promptly retain a Minnesota criminal defense attorney. Make sure to tell your attorney about all the circumstances that led to your arrest, including the breathalyzer issues you feel you may have experienced. The conduct of the police officers is also important to remember. Your criminal defense attorney will let you know how to proceed with your case to obtain a fair outcome.


Were you pulled over and incorrectly accused of being intoxicated? Take your DWI charge seriously by contacting Sieben Edmunds Miller and speaking to one of our criminal defense attorneys. 

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