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Errors in California Breath Test Evidence

When you are pulled over by an officer on the suspicion of Driving Under the Influence, you are not required to take the screening test at the scene. You are, however, required to take a blood or breath test once you are taken to the station.sAs with all types of officer administrated tests, including the breath test,sthere are common errors that arise.

Breath tests are not preferred by law enforcement and prosecutors because they are not a direct analysis. This means that they do not give a direct measure of the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) but have to be taken as a reading of the breath and then converted to the BAC.sThe reading derived from a Breath Test is not always accurate.sMany factors can alter the results yielding inaccurate evidence.

One such factor is temperature. The machine must be adjusted to accommodate its surrounding temperature and the temperature of the subject; otherwise the reading will be inaccurate.sAdditionally, breathing patterns have an effect on the reading.sStudies show that hyperventilation or vigorous exercise can reduce the BAC reading by up to 32%.sIn contrast, holding one’s breath can increase the reading by 25%.

For these reasons, Breathalyzer machines needs to be calibrated frequently. Calibration is the process of checking the internal settings of a machine against a standard test to assure that it is running properly.sIf a machine is not calibrated routinely, it will yield inaccurate results, which could affect your entire case.

Breathalyzer machines also have a problem of non specificity. They not only detect ethanol found in alcoholic beverages, but also other substances with a similar molecular structure, such as acetone.sBecause of a higher level of acetone in dieters and diabetics, they may have a reading that detects a higher BAC, when that is not always the case.

The biggest cause of error in breathalyzer tests comes from mouth alcohol. The breathalyzer needs to measure BAC that is taken as a result of a deep breath from the lungs. If the breath is too shallow, and taken from the mouth, the measure will be inaccurate.sA burp or belch will cause there to be a higher measure of mouth alcohol.

The errors and inaccuracy of a breathalyzer test could potentially mean that your BAC is not as high as the tests yield.sThis not only makes your case weaker for prosecution,sbut could lead to dismissal. Our firm has been fighting DUI cases for over thirty years. We are familiar with the procedures and errors associated with all breathalyzer tests and know precisely how to weaken prosecution’s cases against you. We focus on the specific facts of your case and errors on behalf of law enforcement to strategize the most zealous defense for your case.sHire someone you can trust has the knowledge and background to give your case the best fighting chance and results that you can be satisfied with.