Although the breathalyzer is often the most common instrument used to determine an individual’s sobriety, the test that is done on the side of the road is not admissible against a person in court. It can only be used as a positive or a negative. The number cannot be made known to a court. It is not considered as scientifically accurate as the breathalyzer test done at the station.

To further determine the role of breathalyzers in your Atlanta DUI case, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer in Atlanta can help you understand the legal processes associated with your breathalyzer result, as well build a defense to help defend against any potential penalties.

History of Breathalyzers

Georgia is on its third generation breathalyzer machine, the Intoxilyzer 9000, which was put in place in 2015 is the newest model. The machine is supposed to be fairly accurate. It is supposed to measure the breath for ethanol at different wavelengths than the older machines. It has not been run through as many tests and is not used in many states.

Common Misconceptions

The first misconception about breathalyzers is that a person can put a penny under their tongue to discredit the breath test.

There are also misconceptions about mouth alcohol, which is still a major problem with breath testing and common breath test errors. The machine does not necessarily pick up mouth alcohol. If a person has a substance in their body that was consumed within a certain period of time, mouth alcohol is supposed to dissipate. If the alcohol does not dissipate, it can cause a higher than normal breath test result and does not depict the true level of alcohol in the person’s body. Gastric reflex and other medical issues can affect the test.

Other issues are radio frequency interference or different chemicals such as acetaldehyde and things of that nature that can interfere with the breath test. There are a number of different things that can interfere with breath testing. Any further misconceptions about a breathalyzer in an Atlanta DUI case can be best explained by an experienced attorney.

Calibration Methods

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Intoxilyzer 9000 is checked with every breath sample. A dry gas calibrator is attached to the machine that runs with each breath sample the person gives. The calibration is checked quarterly by Georgia Bureau of Investigation by a state patrol trained officer.

Potential Issues

The machine has not been in use long enough to identify any problems. The problems might come out over time. However, because breathalyzer machines are easy and fast, they are the leading way to determine an individual’s level of intoxication. They offer an indirect way of determining how much alcohol is in somebody’s blood.

Although easy and mostly accurate, breathalyzer results can be challenged in court. A person would need an expert witness to do that.

To be safe, after a person takes a state administered breath test, they should ask for an independent chemical test of their blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance from a qualified person of their own choosing.

To understand the role of breathalyzers in Atlanta DUI cases as they relate to your particular case and the potential of refusal, be sure to consult with experienced legal counsel immediately.