Request a call back
Request a callback

If you would like to take advantage of our free expert legal advice, please get in touch. You can usually speak with a specialist straight away.

or call us on:
0151 422 8020

Fields marked with an * are required

Breath Test Machine Calibration – Challenge a breath reading

Conor Johnstone
1 November 2016

M.A.J. Law frequently challenge the results provided by intoxilyser devices. Many police stations fail to correctly maintain breath testing machines in line with strict requirements imposed when the type-approval orders came into force. In certain circumstances the machine can over-estimate the proportion of alcohol in your system, showing a higher alcohol-concentration. This could result in heavier penalties and longer disqualifications. It is crucial that you discuss the breath readings and intox printout (if you were given one) with a specialist solicitor.

There are three breathalyser devices that are type approved by the Home Office for use in drink driving cases. These are;

  • Lion Intoxilyser 6000 UK
  • Camic Datamaster
  • Intoximeter EC/IR

A report was recently commissioned by the Home Office into the evaluation of the purge/blank cycle of the Intoximeter EC/IR.

During a breath test cycle, a number of simulator checks and blank checks should take place. These are known as ‘purge / blank’ checks. The “purge” step is intended to clear the machine between breath specimens. The “blank” check involves the machine checking whether there is any ethanol in the analytical chamber. If ethanol is found, the test will automatically be aborted and an error message displayed.

Ultimately, the purpose of these calibration checks is to determine whether the device has produced an accurate indication of the proportion of alcohol in your system. If the calibration checks fail, the procedural officer should then require a specimen of blood or urine, pursuant to Section 7(3) Road Traffic Act 1988. He should not go on to require further specimens of breath from you.

You can read more about breath test devices

at our dedicated drink driving ‘breath‘ page.

Related Articles

Case Dismissed – Prosecution failure leads to collapse of drug driving case

This last week at Carlisle’s Rickergate Magistrates’ Court, our client had entered not guilty pleas to two allegations – one of driving while under the influence of cannabis and another that he drove with 16 times the legal limit for cocaine in his system. However the case was thrown out by District Judge Gerald Chalk,...

Eurofins Forensic lab forced to stop testing

Eurofins Forensic lab forced to stop testing   Police have suspended work with the UK’s largest private forensic lab following a cyber-attack earlier this month.   Eurofins Forensic services, responsible for carrying out sample Toxicology analysis for police forces across the UK, suffered a ransomware attack on the 3rd June demanding payment in order to...

Solicitor, Conor Johnstone, discussed drug driving on BBC Radio 1 Extra

Our senior solicitor, Conor Johnstone, will be at BBC Radio 1 Extra’s studio this Sunday (21st April 2019) to discuss the law surrounding drug driving. Tune in to hear more.

Drug Driving Convictions Quashed

A BBC report has found that at least 40 drug driving convictions have been quashed after results were found to be incorrect.   It is unclear why Randox Testing Services, a Manchester based laboratory, manipulated data to create false positive results. It is not known how widespread this issue is and how many samples have been...

Save your licence

M.A.J. Law specialise in defending motorists nationwide. Our team have over 50 years of combined experience and first-hand knowledge of most courts in England and Wales. Free advice? Please get in touch.

Fields marked with an * are required