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How accurate are pocket Breathalyzers?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2019 | Wrongful Death

Technology is a wonderful thing and there is no doubt that the inventions in recent years have changed people’s lives for the better (in most cases). But an over-reliance on the accuracy of some technical products can provide a “false sense of security” if you are using a meter to test your breath for its blood alcohol content (BAC).

It’s now possible to purchase personal breathalyzers that claim to read a person’s BAC level and warn them when they are too intoxicated to drive.

However, a person could test their BAC in the bar and be under the .08 level and still be too impaired to drive home safely. Perhaps they are recovering from a cold or flu and still taking over-the-counter (OTC) medication along with the alcohol they’re consuming. Or maybe they have been on the run all day and haven’t had a chance to stop and eat before going out to happy hour with the crew from work. They may be reeling after a single drink.

The problem with these meters may also lie in their accuracy. Police officers must regularly calibrate their machines and record the details in a log book in order for an arrest to stand up in court. A meter that you fished out of a jam-packed purse or out of a jacket pocket is not subject to such calibrations and may read incorrectly as a result of all that handling.

A person who tested at .06 in the bar and headed for home behind the wheel could still get involved in a deadly accident that leaves a gaping hole in a family. Whether it was a child, spouse, parent or another breadwinner, losing a life to a drunken driving accident is devastating for all concerned.

If your loved one was killed by an impaired driver, you may want to learn more about your right to file a wrongful death claim in the Texas civil court system.


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