Traditionally, law enforcement officials were the only individuals who had access to breathalyzer devices that are supposed to measure a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, these devices are now available to anyone. Although some degree of accuracy may be achieved with these DIY breathalyzers, there also serious questions as to the reliability of the readings they can produce. In addition, there are other potential negative consequences of relying on these devices to keep you out of trouble with the law. The best way to ensure you stay out of trouble and do not receive a DUI is to simply not consume alcohol in the first place.
What are at-home breathalyzers?
At-home breathalyzers are also referred to as do-it-yourself or handheld breathalyzers. Some companies are producing and marketing these devices to parents to check if their teenagers have consumed alcohol or for family members or drug rehabilitation centers to monitor their residents who have been struggling with alcohol. These devices are compact in size and include a mouthpiece which is blown into in order to produce a BAC reading.
But they don’t necessarily give you an accurate reading.
Most of the handheld or DIY devices used to test for BAC are not manufactured with the same technological capabilities as the BAC devices used by law enforcement, which aren’t 100% reliable, anyway.
Two major types of breathalyzers exist. Fuel cell technology breathalyzers are the first type and are used primarily by law enforcement. Semiconductor series technology breathalyzers are the second type and are considerably less expensive, making them a more reasonable option for consumer grade breathalyzers products. However, the semiconductor technology breathalyzers are even more susceptible to producing inaccurate results.
Breathalyzers require periodic calibration in the software they use and can have problems and require routine updating. False readings with these breathalyzers are possible if a person smokes or has recently used mouthwash or anything else that contains alcohol or ketones. Human error is always a possibility with the use of any technology, including breathalyzer technology.
The serious danger with the use of these at-home breathalyzers is that individuals will use them as a means to prevent DUI, but still hurt themselves and potentially others in a car accident because the device gave an inaccurate reading. If you depended on one of these devices to save you from getting a DUI, it is important to contact an experienced Knoxville DUI lawyer to ensure you are represented effectively.
If you have received a DUI charge in the state of Tennessee, it is essential to have intelligent legal counsel on your side to fight effectively against your charges. You can trust our team of experienced Knoxville DUI attorneys at Banks and Jones to provide you with strong representation. To arrange a case evaluation, give us a call today at 865.546.2141 or use our contact form. We Fight 2 Win!
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T. Scott knows the importance of interacting with colleagues to stay abreast of developments and changes in the legal world. T. Scott frequently teaches CLE courses on trial strategy, teaching other lawyers his methods for success in the courtroom, and is certified as a Rule 31 Mediator in the Tennessee Supreme Court. He is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the National Trial Lawyers, and both the Tennessee and American Associations for Justice.
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