Question: I’ve been hearing a lot lately about officers cracking down on drinking and driving ( DWI ) during the holidays. I noticed that cold weather makes some electronics and gadgets less reliable, is this true for the breathalyzer tests that police give when they stop someone?
The Lawyer’s Reply: It’s certainly not outside the realms of possibility. There are Alco-Sensor devices that are, without a doubt, sensitive to extreme temperatures. Extremely hot or cold weather could cause a false reading. That said, there are other devices that will still give correct readings, but only after being calibrated in the cold. Calibrating the unit indoors, but using it outdoors for example, could cause a false reading. Some of the newer breathalyzer devices should give an accurate reading no matter what weather conditions are present.
But don’t get ahead of yourself. This doesn’t mean the charge will automatically be dropped. But it does mean that it’s something to be aware of, and it does mean that it could lead to the test being kept out of evidence, which isn’t too shabby. To learn more, get in touch with a qualified DWI attorney.