Smartphone Breathalyzers Take a Step Back

Do Not Drink and DriveWhat if the breathalyzer you are using doesn’t provide accurate readings of your blood alcohol content? When a company claims that a product “has undergone rigorous government lab-grade testing to ensure its accuracy,” we generally expect it to be backed up by some kind of verifiable evidence. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case with Breathometer, which was just handed a tough FTC ruling at the beginning of 2017.

You may have heard friends talking about the pocket-sized breathalyzer that would check your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) via an integrated smartphone app. The product exploded in popularity after appearing on the hit TV show Shark Tank in 2014, receiving $1 million in investment funding from the show’s hosts. The only problem was that the device did not work as advertised.

The Breathometer device was actually underreporting the user’s level of intoxication. While the device might report that you are below the legal driving limit, your actual blood alcohol concentration might be much higher. In a nutshell, the device’s inaccurate BAC readings could contribute to poor decision-making or over-the-limit driving, the very outcome it was intended to prevent.

Because of Breathometer’s tenuous reliability, the FTC ruled that the company will no longer be allowed to market the accuracy of its product without conducting more extensive research. Furthermore, the company would be required to offer a refund to customers who purchased the device, which had a retail price of $50.

So what does this mean for Georgia drivers?

First and perhaps most importantly, this is a wake up call for thousands of drivers who believe their portable breathalyzer will always display accurate results. Because the FTC report found that factors like humidity and temperature can drastically affect readings, users should be wary of using this device as a last line of defense against DUIs.

In the case that you are pulled over for a suspected DUI and blow over the limit, you may not be able to use the device’s inaccuracy in your defense. There is no legal precedent that suggests that an inaccurate test from a personal breathalyzer could help you get out of a DUI. In most cases, you are still responsible for operating the vehicle, no matter who or what told you it was safe to drive.

The legal driving limit in Georgia is 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. Under most circumstances, exceeding this limit will result in a DUI charge and a night in jail. While every defendant has mitigating circumstances that account for their state of intoxication, a faulty personal breathalyzer will probably not hold up as a reasonable defense. Unfortunately, these devices are not foolproof, so their results should be taken cautiously in any scenario.

The only real defense against a DUI is refusing to step into the driver’s seat. Calling a taxi or ride-sharing service like Uber is also a great way to ensure that you won’t end up in legal trouble.

For the times you do find yourself with a DUI charge, The Burnett Firm is here to help. For more than 25 years, our team of high-quality attorneys has served the Atlanta community and helped hundreds defend themselves against criminal charges. For more information, contact our team today at (404) 630-8599 and schedule a consultation with one of our legal professionals.

Boating Under the Influence Laws in Georgia for 2016

GA Drunk Boating & BUI Laws - Burnett Firm In November 2013, a Cumming resident was charged with homicide, reckless operation of a vessel, and boating under the influence following the deaths of two young boys in a drunk boating accident on Lake Lanier. While the outdoor fun of driving a boat may be conducive to drinking under the sun, Georgia has the same criminal penalties for boating under the influence that motorists face with DUI charges.

Public Support for Medical Marijuana in Georgia Increases

Georgia Medical Marijuana LawsAccording to a recent poll from ‘Georgians For Freedom in Healthcare,’ as much as 84.5 percent of respondents support expanding the state’s medical marijuana laws to include state-sponsored cultivation and production. But Governor Nathan Deal is skeptical about the benefits of an expanded medical marijuana program and the potential problems it could cause for law enforcement.

Can you be too drunk to consent to a breathalyzer test?

GA Drunk Driving Laws - Breathalyzer Consent/>It might sound too crazy to be true, but some Georgia drivers are actually asserting that they were too impaired to consent to a DUI test. In the same way that an individual cannot sign a contract while intoxicated, some criminal defense attorneys suggest that there are serious constitutional grounds for asserting that a drunk driver cannot be required to submit a blood, breath, or urine sample.

How Do Changing Marijuana Laws Affect Me?

Marijuana laws are changing rapidly across the country. Possession of the drug may be illegal in your state, but a short drive across state lines could mean that sale and use is now completely permissible.

Marijuana laws in the US are currently in a volatile flux. The federal government is finding it difficult to maintain strict laws against the drug, while states continue to legalize its use for both medicinal and recreational purposes. How do these changes affect residents in Georgia?

Frequently Asked Questions About Shoplifting

Being charged with shoplifting in Georgia can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the goods that were stolen. From the moment that security detains you, there are many questions that are probably racing through your head about how to handle the situation.

Shoplifting involves two sets of questions: where do your rights end and how far can the store go to prevent theft? Balancing these two questions means that the legal system is trying to find who overstepped their boundaries. Was the store allowed to confront and detain you? Did they have probable cause? Were you caught on video tampering or concealing items?

What To Expect With A First Offense DUI Charge in Georgia

States around the country are getting tougher on DUI’s. Considering the thousands of lives that drunk driving claims every year, it is no wonder that the criminal justice system is cracking down on DUI offenders.

After being arrested on your first DUI charge, you should understand that your life will irrevocably change. Money will be spent, attorneys will be met, and your personal reputation will take a hit. Minimizing the damage from a DUI is only possible with an experienced criminal attorney by your side to guide you through the legal process.