Breathalyzers are common tools that law enforcement officers use when determining who is driving drunk, but residents of Texas should know that these devices aren’t infallible. They can sometimes give incorrect readings that inflate someone’s BAC number. That’s particularly true if a device is not maintained well. Everyone driving in Texas should know their rights when it comes to field sobriety tests.
The trouble with breath testing
Sometimes, there are physical problems with a breath test machine that can skew someone’s BAC reading. This can result in innocent people being charged with drunk driving. In at least two states on the East Coast, courts have thrown out tens of thousands of test readings because they’ve found that police departments don’t always care for the machines correctly.
Other reasons for inaccurate readings
There can also be valid reasons that a non-drunk person would have a high BAC reading on a breath test. There is naturally occurring acetone in people’s breath. For some individuals with medical issues like hypoglycemia, this is high enough to show a higher-than-average reading on a breath test.
Field sobriety tests aren’t always accurate
Other medical issues can affect the results of field sobriety tests, too. For example, people with balance issues may not be able to walk in a straight line. Those with anxiety may give confused responses or count backwards improperly. There are plenty of reasons that an average Texan, especially one with a condition like hypoglycemia, diabetes or kidney disease, might falsely be arrested for drunk driving.
If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to talk to an attorney. A DUI defense lawyer may be able to help you successfully fight false accusations of drunk driving. This might mean maintaining your license and your freedom to get around instead of seeing it suspended.