If a machine is not properly calibrated then it may not provide accurate readings of the units it is intended to measure. For example, if a Chicago driver's speedometer is not properly calibrated, then he may actually be driving faster or slower than the readout states. Thus, many machines require regular calibration to ensure that they are operating properly, including those machines that police departments use to measure the content of alcohol in people's systems.
Particularly, breathalyzer machines must be subject to calibration reviews from time to time to make sure they are functioning properly. A review of a breathalyzer will check to see if the machine provides consistent readings of alcohol on individuals' breath, that its mechanical components are in good working order, and that the officers who administer the tests are well-trained on how to use the machine and its various functions.
Problems in any of these areas of maintenance or training can result in a breathalyzer machine providing bad information. When breathalyzers produce bad information, innocent drivers may find themselves subject to drunk driving and DUI charges for which they are not responsible. Overcoming bad data provided by a poorly calibrated breathalyzer can be a challenge but is possible to do when it comes to clearing an individual of drunk driving charges.
A drunk driving arrest is only as strong as the evidence on which it is based. If a DUI or OWI case is built upon breathalyzer evidence obtained from a poorly calibrated machine, then it may be possible for an individual to have his charges dropped. Individuals who believe that they may have been arrested based on bad breathalyzer testing may wish to discuss their rights and options with a Wisconsin-based DUI defense attorney.