Steve Palmer

Can a personal breath test prevent repeat OVI charges?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | DUI & OVI

Someone who is arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) charges in Ohio could be at risk of numerous penalties. The higher someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at the time of their arrest and the more prior offenses that they have on their record, the more severe the penalties may become.

Therefore, anyone arrested for an OVI offense may want to take whatever steps are necessary to avoid another charge in the future. One of the tactics people may utilize to avoid a second or third OVI arrest is to invest in their own breath test devices. Chemical breath testing can help estimate someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Test devices have become much more compact and cost-effective in recent years.

Does the decision to carry a test device eliminate the risk of an OVI arrest?

Devices aren’t always accurate

The idea behind self-testing is an admirable one. It allows people who regularly enjoy alcoholic beverages to avoid unintentionally violating the law after a night out with friends. Those who test at or over the limit can give themselves time to sober up or arrange to have someone else drive them home. Sadly, the test they perform could give them a false sense of confidence.

Drivers may already be aware of how inaccurate breath tests can sometimes be. State-owned units aren’t the only ones that sometimes return inaccurate results. People who have their own alcohol test devices sometimes learn in the most frightening way possible that their device gave them inaccurate results.

Drivers sometimes get pulled over by the police after they thought they passed a self-administered breath test. In some cases, police officers may give someone the benefit of the doubt when they show that they conducted a test recently and were under the legal limit. Other times, a driver might get arrested because the personal testing unit they relied on failed to give them an accurate reading. Breath test units are helpful to a certain extent but should not be the sole source of personal protection.

Those aware of the consequences of an OVI conviction have more motivation than most people to carefully comply with the law. Exploring different ways of ensuring better legal compliance may benefit those hoping to change their habits after an OVI conviction.