Breathalyzers and Blood Tests for DUI Aren’t as Accurate as You Would Think
The time-honored method for determining someone’s blood alcohol content (BAC) for a DUI is a breathalyzer. But sometimes the breathalyzer machine isn’t available, and you’re required to submit to a blood draw to measure BAC. The blood draw is the most accurate method for determining how much alcohol is in the blood stream, but it, too, is prone to errors. These reasons are why an Orange County attorney for DUI blood testing can challenge the evidence in court and minimize the impact a DUI has on your life. Here’s a look at the methods a DUI attorney has at their disposal when in court.
Breathalyzers are Not Reliable
Breathalyzers are used during roadside testing for alcohol impairment. They work by measuring the amount of alcohol that’s present in a portion of exhaled air. Once the breath is exhaled, the breathalyzer goes to work by partitioning off part of the exhaled breath into a chamber and multiplying the amount of alcohol present in the breath sample. This is where the weakness of the breathalyzer machine becomes apparent: the ratio or coefficient used to calculate BAC is the same for everyone that is given the test.
It’s a known fact that individuals react to alcohol differently and that alcohol containing substances in the mouth can greatly affect the final BAC number. Therefore, the breathalyzer results can be challenged in court by an attorney.
Blood Tests can be Prone to Errors and Inaccuracies
The blood test for DUI is thought of as more accurate because it’s a direct measurement of the BAC at the time of the incident. However, lab errors can cause the results to be inaccurate to the point where it can be challenged in court. The alcohol swab used to clean the skin before a blood draw can have enough alcohol to affect the final result. The slightest of errors can change the BAC and put someone under the legal limit.
This is why you need to consult with an Orange County attorney for DUI blood testing after receiving a DUI in California. Your blood sample becomes evidence of a crime and must be preserved in two vials for your court case. Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations permits attorneys to file what is known as a blood split motion for one of the vials of your blood sample. The sample can be then sent out for independent laboratory testing to determine if there were errors made in the original lab test applied by the state. Results from the independent testing can then be used to cast reasonable doubt on the state’s testing methods for BAC and potentially change the outcome of the court case.
If you find yourself pulled over on suspicion of DUI, always submit to the BAC testing. Refusal result in a mandatory license suspension and also negatively affects your DUI case.