Breathalyzer Calibration – An Essential Step for Ignition Interlocks

breathalyzer calibrationA while back some DUI prosecutions in Massachusetts hit a snag. Some of the data from the machines might have been inaccurate, endangering the cases that were based on that data.

The breathalyzer machines are fine. The problem was that they weren’t calibrated properly.

Alcohol measurement is a delicate process. A breathalyzer of any time must be tested and adjusted regularly to ensure that the mechanism’s sensitivity to alcohol is not too low or high.  Usually, calibration is done by exposing the breathalyzer to a alcohol vapors of a precise and pre-determined concentration, and adjusting the breathalyzer so that it reflects that amount of alcohol.

If you require an ignition interlock on your vehicle, you should know that the mechanism in it is similar to a police breathalyzer, using the same fuel cell technology to detect alcohol.

Fortunately, accuracy is not a problem with your ignition interlock. When you bring in your vehicle for regular monitoring, the technician will calibrate the interlock device to make sure that it’s registering alcohol vapors accurately. So you’ll never get a positive result when it’s not warranted. State regulations determine exactly how accurate the ignition interlock must be, and technicians are required to test and calibrate every single device that comes in for monitoring.

That’s why it’s so important to keep your regular ignition interlock monitoring appointment – car breathalyzer calibration ensures that you always get a fair deal.