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Question about breathalizers
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 11:02 pm 
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If i was in a random road and a cop was stopping every car or in a ride program, Do i have the right to have the officer blow on the breathalyzer first to make sure it's working correctly "0" (assuming cops arent allowed to have alcohol while working)?


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Re: Question about breathalizers
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 11:45 pm 
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Location: Ontario
No, there is no requirement for the officer to provide a test sample in front of you. There are steps they must take to ensure the device is functioning correctly but these would be done prior to use, typically at the start of shift.

First, the officer must ensure that the device has been calibrated within the past 14 days. Calibrations are performed by trained officers using an alcohol solution to ensure the device is obtaining correct readings. Many officers will also provide a test sample at the start of the shift to ensure there are no obstructions and the device is capable of obtaining samples. Lastly the device itself performs a self-test on startup and prior to each test. It will also display an error if it detects any type of sensor fault, etc.

If you blow a warning and truly believe there’s been an error, you CAN request a second test with a different instrument. The officer can then get a different roadside screening device or take you to the station to provide a sample into an intoxilyzer. This isn’t something I’d suggest doing lightly though, because if the second reading is over the legal limit, you’ll then be facing a criminal charge with an immediate 90 day suspension instead of an administrative 3 day suspension.


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Re: Question about breathalizers
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:22 pm 
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Stanton wrote:
No, there is no requirement for the officer to provide a test sample in front of you. There are steps they must take to ensure the device is functioning correctly but these would be done prior to use, typically at the start of shift.

First, the officer must ensure that the device has been calibrated within the past 14 days. Calibrations are performed by trained officers using an alcohol solution to ensure the device is obtaining correct readings. Many officers will also provide a test sample at the start of the shift to ensure there are no obstructions and the device is capable of obtaining samples. Lastly the device itself performs a self-test on startup and prior to each test. It will also display an error if it detects any type of sensor fault, etc.

If you blow a warning and truly believe there’s been an error, you CAN request a second test with a different instrument. The officer can then get a different roadside screening device or take you to the station to provide a sample into an intoxilyzer. This isn’t something I’d suggest doing lightly though, because if the second reading is over the legal limit, you’ll then be facing a criminal charge with an immediate 90 day suspension instead of an administrative 3 day suspension.



Thanks. Im more concern about the cop thinking i have drank even though i did not and asks me to take the breathalyzer test. At which the instrument then show that I have alcohol in my system even though I do not drink.


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Re: Question about breathalizers
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 7:27 pm 
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I've had this happen to me also.... apparently smoking can cause a false positive... Same scenario ride program, had friends in the car that were drinking... I was DD and cause of the smell in the car the officer asked for a roadside test... I complied and it came back with a 0.01.. began getting drilled why I lied and I asked for another test.. another machine was brought over and it read 0. The officer that brought this one over asked if I just smoked prior to first test and I told him yeah... He said that's probably why...
(Reason I pushed it is that even though I had my G for 15 years allowing me 0.05 max I also have my M2 and the restriction carries over).


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Re: Question about breathalizers
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:13 pm 
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pirish wrote:
I've had this happen to me also.... apparently smoking can cause a false positive...

That’s actually incorrect; cigarette and other tobacco smoke won’t cause a false reading, but can damage the sensor in the device. That’s why police ask if you’ve recently smoked and delay the test if you have. The only way you’re likely to get a false reading is through mouth alcohol. If you’ve recently consumed or used any product with alcohol (this includes mouthwash), the residual amount left in your mouth can cause a false, high reading. This is why police wait 15 minutes to conduct the test if you’re recently consumed or used alcohol.

If you’ve truly had nothing to drink, the device should only read zero. It uses a fuel cell that reacts to ethanol to generate a current. Without ethanol there should be no current and hence no reading.


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Re: Question about breathalizers
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 5:05 am 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 9:46 pm
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Stanton wrote:
pirish wrote:
I've had this happen to me also.... apparently smoking can cause a false positive...

That’s actually incorrect; cigarette and other tobacco smoke won’t cause a false reading, but can damage the sensor in the device. That’s why police ask if you’ve recently smoked and delay the test if you have. The only way you’re likely to get a false reading is through mouth alcohol. If you’ve recently consumed or used any product with alcohol (this includes mouthwash), the residual amount left in your mouth can cause a false, high reading. This is why police wait 15 minutes to conduct the test if you’re recently consumed or used alcohol.

If you’ve truly had nothing to drink, the device should only read zero. It uses a fuel cell that reacts to ethanol to generate a current. Without ethanol there should be no current and hence no reading.


Very interesting. Thanks for letting us know about this. It may help me or others in the future as I am, like pirish, a DD when friends go out clubbing or drinking. I'd hate to be a victim or a false reading. Thus, I can request to use the second breathalyzer 15 minutes after the first test took place.


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