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Most folks are not aware of the process by which breath results from a breathalyzer test are converted into your blood alcohol content. Yet it is your blood alcohol content, and not your breath alcohol content, that the law uses to determine if you are drunk. In this article, we will discuss some of the scientific pitfalls of the breathalyzer test and how a skilled Allen County DUI attorney can neutralize breathalyzer evidence in court.
In order to accurately determine a driver’s blood alcohol content, the police must test the blood. However, blood tests take some time to perform. The blood must be extracted, stored, and then sent to a lab. It is not practical to administer a blood test roadside, so officers use breath tests that deliver immediate albeit, less accurate results. This helps get potentially intoxicated drivers off the road but comes short of proving that a driver’s BAC is above the legal limit.
As alcohol works its way through your system, it eventually becomes a gas in your lungs. The alcohol is expelled when you exhale and this is measured by the breathalyzer test. Since at least some of the alcohol you have processed is expelled in other ways than your breath, the breath test assumes that your blood alcohol is roughly double that of your breath alcohol. In other words, the results of your breath test are doubled to return your BAC.
For those who are on the keto diet or have other health conditions, a breath test will read that there is acetone on your breath. Acetone is interpreted as alcohol by a breathalyzer and that figure is doubled to produce a false positive or an inflated BAC.
Additionally, your breath can have more alcohol on it than your blood does. If you have just finished eating, for example, this will reduce your blood alcohol content, but the reduction may not be present on your breath.
Another issue comes into play as a breath test does not consider the weight of an individual who is using it. A 300lb man (for example) can drink much more than a 100lb woman before they are technically drunk.
Each of these issues poses a potential defense to a DUI charge that is based on a breathalyzer test alone.
Just because the breath test said that you were drunk, does not mean that you actually qualify as drunk under the law. A skilled Allen County DUI lawyer can question breathalyzer evidence introduced by prosecutors and get the charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed. Call The Bellinger Law Office today for more information on how we can help.
- on May 26, 2020
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