Breathalyzer Accuracy

The breath test machine may mistake certain chemicals on a person’s breath for alcohol. The machine is not designed to distinguish any interfering chemicals from alcohol, other than acetone.

However, it only recognizes a large amount of acetone on the breath. Thus, a person’s reported breath test result may contain as much as 0.01 of acetone.

In a case where the breath test is 0.09 or under, this means the person may be innocent and wrongly convicted of DUI!

Acetone is one of the most common chemicals found on human breath. If you believe that your breath test machine results were affected by a chemical, seek the assistance of Callahan Law, P.S., Inc. We launch an in-depth investigation for clients who believe their test was affected by an interfering chemical.

Arrange for a free consultation by calling (206) 866-6739.

What Can Cause a False Positive Breathalyzer Test?

Because acetone is so common, the breath test machines are designed to detect it and adjust the result accordingly. However, acetone may still account for the amount of the breath test below .01. For example, if your breath test result was .08 and you had acetone on your breath, acetone may make up for .009 of the result, making the true value well below .08. Other types of chemicals that may be reported as alcohol and that a person might be exposed to could account for a much higher portion of a breath test result without the machine detecting that the chemical is not alcohol.

Such chemicals include:breathalyzer accuracy | Washington State DUI Attorneys

    • Toluene
    • M-xylene
    • O-xylene
    • Methanol
    • Isopropanol (rubbing alcohol)
    • Diethyl ether
    • Methane
    • Hydrocarbons (gasoline)
    • N-butyl alcohol
    • Ethyl acetate
    • Formalin
    • Methyl ethyl ketone
    • Methyl isobutyl ketone
  • N-propyl alcohol

Some chemicals may even account for an entire breath test result because breath test machines cannot distinguish them from alcohol at any level.

These chemicals include:

A solvent that you have absorbed through your skin or by breathing vapors from the chemicals may be to blame for a false positive breath test result.

It is important to talk to an experienced Washington DUI attorney if you were arrested for DUI and you were exposed to solvents prior to your arrest.

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To speak to a team member from our firm and tell your story in confidence, call us at (206) 866-6739 or fill out the form below.

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