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Georgia Breathalyzer Can Be Affected by Cell Phones or Radios

Here is a fact that many people do not know: the Georgia breathalyzer can be affected by cell phones or radios. That means that this test, which could result in prison time, driver’s license suspension and a criminal record if you fail it, is susceptible to devices that can be found in every police station.

The electrical energy (called radio frequency interference [RFI] or electromagnetic interference [EMI]) cell phones and radios emit can interfere with the breathalyzer machine’s circuitry, thus producing false results. Unfortunately for those being breath tested in a driving under the influence (DUI) case, police stations contain a great deal of electrical equipment such as cell phones, computers, walkie-talkies, police scanners, fax machines, etc.

The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) conducted a study in 1983 to test how the different machines were affected by electrical devices. Sixteen models were tested using four types of frequencies that are typically found in a law enforcement environment. While 6 of the models were minimally affected, 10 of the models were substantially affected by at least one frequency.

During the study, Washington D.C. police officers using a mobile breathalyzer demonstrated how handheld radios affected the results of breath tests. While this report was classified as confidential, an attorney filed a motion to see it under the Freedom of Information Act.

While manufacturers initially denied that RFI affected the test results, many began offering RMI detectors. Unfortunately, these detectors are unreliable—they are blind to certain frequencies and calibrating them correctly is difficult.

If you have been charged with a Georgia DUI after testing over the legal limit, you should immediately contact an attorney who is dedicated to drunk-driving defense. Many DUI attorneys undergo continuous education on the Georgia breathalyzer and can launch an investigation into the circumstances of your test. Should your attorney discover that these devices (or other electrical devices) affected the results of your test, you may be able to win your case.

The Georgia breathalyzer can be affected by cell phones or radios and make sure to fight your DUI case by contacting our law firm today.


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