What is a Breathalyzer Test?
The small plastic computer known as a breathalyzer is probably not unfamiliar to anyone who has been involved in a DUI traffic stop. This device is now a very common standard for law enforcement efforts to catch suspected drunk drivers.
What many Americans do not know is that even this technical tool is coming under scrutiny as an imprecise way to measure breath alcohol levels.
The breathalyzer takes in air that the DUI defendant blows into it and calculates a breath alcohol reading. Courts use the breath alcohol level provided to establish a level of intoxication. But how does a breathalyzer really work? Legal experts involved in DUI case work can point to a number of issues that drivers should know about if they are charged with a DUI based on the results of one of these breath tests.
One of the most basic concerns about a breathalyzer is that experts can provide a number of “false flags” that can artificially raise the result of this breath test. These include some types of gastrointestinal conditions as well as situations where food or hygiene products throw off readings of the alcohol level in the mouth and windpipe. Another thing that DUI lawyers are talking about these days is a “partition ratio,” where scientists have found that a breathalyzer doesn’t work exactly the same way for each person because of a number of variable factors.
Generally, some of the most accurate scientific research is suggesting that the standard range of results that a breathalyzer machine provides is not precise enough to be really effective in determining true intoxication. The legal community is looking at how this research may affect the judicial system in terms of DUI convictions.
Another very relevant issue with the breathalyzer is the issue of technical error. Just like any machine, this alcohol level tester is prone to some malfunctions or errors. Some DUI lawyers and legal teams representing DUI defendants have gone so far as to ask for the source code of a breathalyzer machine to make sure that its readings were accurate for their client.
Need a Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer?
In light of issues regarding these testing machines, it is a good idea for those charged with a DUI to seek the assistance of a professional DUI attorney about how to handle breathalyzer results. Maryland DUI Defense attorney Andrew Alpert has received specific training on defending DUI cases and DUI related issues, is certified to own and operate breath testing instruments and is a certified breath alcohol technician. For more information on how Andrew Alpert can help defend you against Maryland DUI charges, contact Alpert Schreyer, LLC today at (301) 262-7005 or (866) 444-6363.