arizona field sobriety test

Factors That Can Affect Breathalyzer Tests, Provide Inaccurate Results

(Last Updated On: October 23, 2018)

When someone is pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, one of the steps that an officer must take is perform a breathalyzer test, provided that the driver does not refuse to take the test.

There are many things that can affect the results of a breathalyzer test, which would result in inaccurate test readings. Breathalyzer tests operation on the assumption that the ratio between the blood alcohol level of an individual and their breath alcohol level is approximately 2100 to 1, but every person’s ratio is different, and this ratio is simply an average.

If someone is wearing dentures, has cavities or has had other dental work done, alcohol from the procedure or denture cleaner may be trapped in the mouth/teeth. This can result in a false high positive breathalzyer reading.

There are also certain chemical substances or compounds that have been proven to attribute to false readings as well. This includes Acetaldehyde(from smoking cigarettes), Acetone (from diabetes, starvation, liver disease), Cyclohexanol (from exposure in workplace), Isoproanol (from diabetes, starvation, or liver disease), Methanol (from consumption), Paraldehyde (from sedative medications), and 1-Propanol (from consumption).

Temperature can also be a factor when it comes to breathalzyer test results being flawed. Breathalyzer tests were designed to test breath at 98.6 degrees, the normal temperature of the human body. Human body temperatures, as a norm can vary three degrees centigrade. A false breath elevation of 8 percent per degree has been documented. This could result in a breath test result, which is 24 percent higher than the actual breath alcohol content.

There is also a possibility that the harder one blows into the breathalyzer, the high the breath reading. This is due to the fact that air in the lower regions of the lungs is likely to contain more alcohol molecules than the lung as a whole. This could result in an abnormally high test reading.

If you are arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you should contact a Tucson DUI attorney immediately. For legal assistance, contact the Tucson DUI lawyers at Thrush Law Group. Visit us today at for more information.

Posted in Arizona DUI Law.


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