Reliability of Breathalyzers in Howard County

Breathalyzers are devices used to estimate the alcohol content in a person’s system. Although many people believe that Howard County DUI breathalyzers are undoubtedly accurate and reliable, this is not always the case as the reliability of a breathalyzer in Howard County actually depends on a number of different factors.

If the breathalyzer is operated by an individual who has been trained in the operation of this unit, then they should be doing it correctly and a person would get a reliable score. The machines themselves are self-testing, they do self-testing and self-authenticating. The machine records the time, date, serial numbers, log numbers, the name of the arresting officers, the name of the person being tested, and the name of the chemist. All of these things are very explicit and if the machine is working correctly, then the machine is reliable.

When the machine is not working properly, however, or if the test is not given correctly, then the resulting score may not be accurate and, in turn, the reliability of Howard County breathalyzers could be questioned by an experienced attorney.


A breathalyzer machine is very sensitive, so the calibrations need to be followed and the adjustments need to be made by someone who understands the machine, typically a trained technician from the company who comes to do routine checks. The calibration then needs to be checked, which, for full accuracy, is an in-depth process. This check involves running a sample on the machine to see if it picks up the alcohol on that sample and that when someone is testing it, the gas standard that they are testing is done correctly so it is scoring the way that it should, which is 0.08.

As long as the calibration is within the small range of about 0.78 to 0.82, then that is considered a good working machine. It is important that the breathalyzers are routinely checked to ensure its accuracy. If they are not calibrated correctly, then a DUI attorney can investigate and question the reliability of breathalyzers in Howard County.

Working Around Issues

Government experts are aware of the issues that may arise with breathalyzers. The fact is that there are always going to be issues, which is why there are several generations of these machines.

If someone is thinking about the actual test result when they are looking at that device, they can ask: was it testing in proper working order? Regular calibration maintenance in Howard County needs to be done to ensure that there is a sufficient level of accuracy and to upkeep the reliability of Howard County breathalyzers. For poorly maintained machines, such as those that have not been cleaned or tested regularly, the presumption is that they are not accurate.

The state of Maryland generally tries to make sure that it is as up to date as possible, that the maintenance is done, and that the individuals using them are certified to use them. The police stations, troopers, or paramedics in Howard County generally have someone working who has been trained and properly certified to use the breathalyzer machines.