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Pocket Breathalyzers are no guarantee against DUIs

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2022 | DUI charges

Nobody wants to start the New Year with a charge of driving under the influence (DUI), but that’s exactly what’s going to happen to a lot of people. Most communities beef up their drunk driving enforcement around the winter holidays – New Year’s Eve included.

Knowing that, you’ve decided to pick up a pocket-sized Breathalyzer device. Sure, they’re not quite as refined as the ones the police use, but they’re probably good enough, right?

Well, not exactly.

When tested, the results weren’t always in sync

When WINK News looked at four similar pocket Breathalyzer devices, they found that they often gave vastly different results than the devices used by the police – and from each other.

There are numerous potential reasons for this, including:

  • The overall quality of the device: No two devices are exactly the same, and you don’t have any real idea how yours compares to the devices used by the police.
  • The instructions that come with the device: One device used in the test was confusing and required users to adjust for their state’s “standard value.”
  • Your blood alcohol content can change in the course of minutes: After your last drink, there’s a period of time where your BAC continues to rise, so the reading you get at the bar could be lower than the reading the police get if you’re pulled over 15 minutes later.
  • People don’t always perform the test correctly: If they’re already inebriated, they may not blow into the test properly without guidance – and that will affect the BAC reading.

If you plan to put 2021 to bed with a few well-earned drinks, do yourself a favor: Either drink at home or make sure that you have a ride (so that you’re not even tempted to get behind the wheel of your car). It’s really better to recognize that there’s simply no safe limit when it comes to drinking and driving than to trust the results of a $50 BAC testing device.

That being said, don’t allow a single mistake to damage your entire future. If you’re charged with a DUI, exercise your right to remain silent until you can assess your defense options.