A breathalyzer must be calibrated correctly
If you're pulled over on suspicion of DUI in New York, one of the most common tools an officer will use is the Breathalyzer. This is a simple device that measures the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream after you blow into it.
However, like most other devices that take measurements—like a scale—this device does need to be calibrated properly if it is going to work correctly. This is incredibly important because a poorly calibrated Breathalyzer could lead to a false reading, potentially causing you to be arrested, imprisoned and fined—when you did nothing wrong.
Worthy of note is that the police are supposed to check their devices at set intervals. They can't just test them when they first get them, find out that they work, and then keep using them for the next decade without checking again. They have to continuously do this, and records are typically kept to show when the last calibration was required when it was done, and what the result was.
On top of that, the officer must be trained on how to use the device, and he or she must use it properly, in a way that corresponds to that training. When procedures and protocols are not followed, even the reading of a breath test device that was calibrated on schedule could be called into question.
If you were pulled over when you did not think you were drunk, but a breath test showed that you were, you may be wondering what happened. As this shows, an improperly calibrated Breathalyzer could be the reason for the arrest, and you need to know about this and all of your other legal defense options.