Should Drivers Rely on a Portable Breathalyzer to Avoid a DUI?

August 1, 2022

A portable breathalyzer is often marketed as a product that can help you avoid a DUI. However, we recommend not relying on a portable breathalyzer to avoid DUI charges. Portable breathalyzers aren’t always reliable, and even if it claims that you’re good to drive, you’ll be the one left to deal with the DUI charges.

Are Portable Breathalyzers Accurate?

A portable breathalyzer can work sometimes. However, because they’re not foolproof, it’s risky to rely on them to avoid a DUI charge. If you’re concerned that you are over the legal limit, it’s best to find alternative transportation rather than rely on a portable breathalyzer. The other problem with portable breathalyzers is that they only show your BAC at the time of the test.

Depending on how long your drive is, your BAC level could increase during the drive. So, while the portable breathalyzer may show that you’re within the legal limit when you leave the bar, you may be over the limit by the time you’re pulled over closer to home. Portable breathalyzers also have to be calibrated and used properly to get accurate results. 

While they claim to have a 0.01% margin of error, this only applies when used properly. Even if you calibrate your portable breathalyzer right when you first buy it, driving around with it in your vehicle or carrying it in your handbag can lead to it becoming faulty.

Consequences of a DUI In New Jersey

DUI charges shouldn’t be taken lightly. New Jersey drivers may be subject to the following DUI consequences:

  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • Between 12-48 hours of attendance in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
  • IDRC fee of $230
  • Civil fines between $250-$400
  • Insurance surcharges

In addition to these consequences, some insurance companies may drop a driver after they get a DUI. With a DUI on your driving record, finding a new policy is harder and more expensive. A DUI on your record can also affect your employment, including the ability to keep or find a new career.

Read more: Can A DUI Cost You Your Nursing License?

What To Do If You’re Charged With a DUI

Because of the life-changing potential consequences of a DUI, it’s important to take certain steps to protect your rights. The first thing to do when charged with a DUI is to talk with a lawyer. A Cherry Hill DUI defense lawyer will consider the details of the arrest and your charges while also looking for any potential errors. Your lawyer will also help you build a DUI defense, which could lead to reduced charges, potentially avoiding jail.

In the meantime, take steps to avoid additional legal charges. First-time DUI offenders may have more options for negotiations. If you have prior DUI charges, working with a DUI lawyer may be even more important.

Instead of relying on a portable breathalyzer, it’s best to implement a zero-drinking and driving policy. This means if you plan on having any alcoholic beverages, call an Uber or Lyft for transportation. While the cost of hiring a rideshare may seem expensive, it’s much cheaper than the expensive costs that come with a DUI charge.

Read more: Will I Lose My Job If I Get A DUI?

Contact an Experienced Cherry Hill DWI Defense Attorney About Your Drunk Driving Charges in New Jersey

Have you been charged with a DWI or DUI offense in New Jersey? A drunk driving conviction could leave you with a permanent record, and it could result in your driver’s license being suspended for a very long time. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified DWI defense lawyer about your case. The Law Office of John B. Brennan represents clients charged with drunk driving, breath test refusal, and related offenses in Marlton, Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Mt. Laurel, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 446-5123 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office located at 10,000 Lincoln Dr. East, Suite 201, Marlton, NJ 08053.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.