There are a number of ways that the authorities try to determine if someone has been driving under the influence of alcohol. They often look for open containers of alcohol while trying to detect odd behavior and the scent of alcohol. If their suspicions continue, they may ask the driver to perform a number of field sobriety tests. Of course, the only scientific way to determine the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood stream is by taking a breath or blood test. However, a breathalyzer, which is commonly used by police officers in the field during a DUI investigation, is not always a reliable device to measure an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Individuals suspected of being under the influence simply have to breathe into the device for the authorities to determine the amount of alcohol in their body. While this device can be useful to determine if someone has been drinking, it is not always accurate and can result in unnecessarily serious DUI charges that are not warranted.
First of all, there are a number of circumstances that may result in an incorrect positive test. Individuals who have gastrointestinal issues or have recently ingested certain medications, breath mints or food items may test positive for alcohol even if they haven’t been drinking. Additionally, it is important that the device is properly maintained and calibrated. Failure to do so may result in inaccurate results.