CRIMINAL LAW

FAMILY LAW

Can that pocket Breathalyzer help you avoid a DUI charge?

| Jan 6, 2021 | Dui |

A charge of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is pretty serious no matter where you are — and Florida is no exception.

If you’re convicted of driving while intoxicated, you will definitely face fines and a suspended driver’s license. You could also be forced to attend addiction counseling, made to use an ignition interlock device, have your vehicle confiscated or be sentenced to jail.

How do you know if you’re over the legal limit?

Obviously, the best way to prevent a DUI is to never — ever — get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking.

That being said, a lot of folks have invested in small, portable devices that are supposed to operate the same way that a Breathalyzer does. They tuck them in a bag or pocket before they go out to a bar or for dinner so that they can test their intoxication level before heading home again.

But do they work? The best possible answer to that question is, “Maybe.” The accuracy of any pocket device you have may depend on several different things:

  • Whether it has a fuel center tester (which are more expensive but also more accurate) or a semiconductor oxide-based tester (which aren’t)
  • How well-maintained and calibrated the device is when you use it (something that may suffer after your device has bounced around in a bag for hours, days or weeks at a time)
  • How carefully you breathe when you take the test (when you’re intoxicated, you could breathe too shallowly for the test to give a good reading)

In other words, there are a lot of variables involved. If you’ve been drinking, it’s probably safer to get an Uber or call a friend for a ride.

What happens next if you’re charged with drinking and driving?

If you’re facing DUI charges, exercise your right to remain silent. Then, call an attorney. That’s the best possible way to protect your future.