Calibration Matters

Thousands of people each year are subjected to preliminary breath tests (PBTs) by Iowa law enforcement officers in an effort to determine their alcohol concentration as part of criminal investigations.  One of the most frequent situations in which PBT’s are used are to determine if a person should be arrested for operating while intoxicated or if implied consent should be invoked.  Officers are required by law to not only calibrate their preliminary breath testing devices each month but are also required to keep a log of these calibrations and the failure to do so can have significant consequences.  Attorney Matt Lindholm recently found that a preliminary breath testing device used on one of his clients had not been calibrated in a accordance with the law and as a result, the Department of Transportation was unable to suspended the client’s license and the criminal charge for operating while intoxicated was dismissed.