[VIDEO] Traffic Myth: The Handheld Breath Test Is Accurate

Some people think that these little black boxes that the officers have on the side of the road are 100% accurate and they’re going to give you an accurate reading only breath sample. That is wrong. Here are instances when they can be inaccurate. Call me about your DUI/DWI case today.

Video Transcription

Traffic myth: the handheld breath test is 100% accurate. That is false. Hi, I’m Andrew Flusche, your Virginia DUI and traffic attorney. Some people think that these little black boxes that the officers have on the side of the road are 100% accurate and they’re going to give you an accurate reading only breath sample. That is wrong. The handheld breath test is not even used in Virginia to determine whether or not you’re actually under the influence, for your trial, for guilt or innocence.

However, it is used to determine if the officer has a good reason to arrest you. That’s a key issue in DUI cases. If it’s not good enough to determine beyond a reasonable doubt if you’re intoxicated, why would you want to blow into it at all? The problem is the courts know that this device is not accurate. We admit that in the way we handle the devices in court and don’t trust them. So don’t blow into this device unless you know for a fact that your breath sample is going to be way below the legal limit of .02. In other words, if you’ve had anything more than one drink, never blow into a handheld breath test device.

The reason is that they’re inaccurate. I’m not encouraging anyone to try to flout the law and try to get away with DUI. What I’m encouraging people to do is to exercise your rights and to not be falsely accused of something that you haven’t done. One of the biggest problems of a preliminary breath test device or the handheld breath test is mouth alcohol. If you just came from the bar and you had a sip of your last drink ten minutes ago, let’s say, and the officer pulls you over on your way home, you’ll still have alcohol in your mouth. This device cannot distinguish that from the actual breath sample from your deep lung air. That’s one of the biggest problems that will artificially increase your blood alcohol level.

You could take one sip of alcohol, immediately blow into the breath test device, and be something like a .3. you could be basically dead according to this machine based on the mouth alcohol reading. That’s the real problem with these machines is that they are so inaccurate as far as mouth alcohol that you cannot trust them with your future. If you’re charged with a DUI or a DWI, definitely call me today and be sure to know your rights in advance.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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