Accurate DWI Results are a Real Challenge

Breathalyzers are like any other machine. If they are not properly used, or if they are not properly calibrated, the machine will return inaccurate results. In order for these devices to be effective, they must be used and calibrated to exacting specifications. The more a breathalyzer is used, the more likely it is to malfunction.

Common problems with breathalyzer results known to DWI lawyers in Minneapolis is that they cannot differentiate between alcoholic beverages, and the types of alcohol the digestion of certain foods can cause. Foods high in yeast and sugar for example can produce false results. This is because of the process known as ketosis during which the body burns fat for energy. The process produces isopropyl alcohol which is different than the ethanol found in alcoholic beverages. However, breathalyzers cannot tell the difference between the two.

Another problem is that if an individual has an elevated body temperature, from say a cold or flu, it can change the reading. It can be a significant change that can range between 6.5 and 9%. This is more than enough to sway a breathalyzer reading over the legal limit in Minnesota.

Medical conditions can also impact the accuracy of breathalyzer readings. Conditions such as heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause digestive fluid to enter the mouth. When this happens, this can increase the amount of alcohol a breathalyzer picks up in its reading. Given the fact that these are very common medical conditions, and that under Minnesota’s mandatory DWI testing laws many opt for roadside breathalyzer tests, these two conditions alone have the potential to bring into question the accuracy of a large number of breathalyzer tests.

In Minnesota, breathalyzer results processed through the Minnesota Crime Lab are currently being challenged. That is because of the way the state calculates device bias and the way the measurements are recorded. The concern is that innocent people are being convicted of DWI when in reality they were under the legal limit when the breathalyzer was performed. It is quite possible the outcome of these challenges will impact DWI results and cases throughout the state.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.
Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions:
State of Minnesota
Minnesota State Court
Minnesota Federal Court
8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals
State of Maryland”

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Getting falsely accused of domestic violence in Minnesota may put you at risk of losing your job, custody of your children, or even your home. You may face criminal charges and the accusation may damage your reputation in the community, as people will now view you as an abuser. False domestic violence accusations often happen when couples are in a contentious relationship with a risk of divorce.
The top reasons for license suspension in Minnesota include driving under the influence of alcohol, repeated traffic violations, and failure to appear in court or pay fines. Failure to pay child support, criminal convictions and felonies, medical conditions/disabilities, and drag racing can also lead to license suspension. The suspension takes away your driving privileges, preventing you from driving legally.
Motorists arrested for allegedly driving while impaired might wonder, “Can you refuse a breathalyzer?” In Minnesota, the implied consent law requires a person licensed to drive, control, or operate a vehicle to agree to a chemical test to check for alcohol or other intoxicants in that person’s body. Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or another chemical test is a crime, often charged as a gross misdemeanor.