Alcohol Breath Test and The Problems it Creates During DUI Investigations
The alcohol breath test is not as reliable as the police want them to be. We are all fall under the impression that an alcohol breath test conducted by a police officer and showing that you are above Legal Blood Alcohol Level means that you are drunk driving and should be arrested before someone gets hurt. Yet, what gives the DUI Breathalyzer its credibility is not entirely clear. Does it deserve the trust placed into it by the Los Angeles DUI police officers or its ordinary citizens? Here, we are addressing some of the issues with alcohol breath tests and why they can be inaccurate and lead to wrongful convictions.
Upon a Los Angeles DUI arrest, the police may ask you to provide a sample of your blood or breath by asking you to submit to an alcohol breath test or an alcohol blood test. If neither one is available, Los Angeles DUI police officers can ask you to submit to the urine test. Urine tests however are very unreliable.
Providing your blood or breath samples can be incriminating, yet, the California state law requires you to provide a breath or blood sample or suffer more severe consequences. Los Angeles DUI Attorneys believe that the state law is incorrect in requiring arrested persons to submit to a breath or blood tests and is in conflict with the U.S. Constitution on this issue.
Regardless of the legality of the request to submit to blood or breath test after a DUI Arrest in Los Angeles, most persons arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, agree to provide a breath or blood sample and if you do, the opinion of many Los Angeles DUI attorneys that the blood test is more accurate. Many people chose to take the breath test because they are convinced by the police officers investigating the DUI that the alcohol breath test is as reliable as the blood test, it is a lot faster, or for other reasons, such as being afraid of needles.
Needle phobia notwithstanding, the blood test is a far better way to measure blood alcohol level. Forgetting for the moment, the inability to store the breath sample, which can be very fatal to your defense as you are unable to retest the evidence that is used against you, let us now focus on body physiology.
An alcohol breath test might not accurately reflect the true alcohol level in your blood…
… because the conversion of blood to breath is kept constant by a legal statute in California. That is, California assumes that every person’s physiology is the same when converting breath alcohol level to blood alcohol level. This is clearly inaccurate as there is no average person in terms of weight or height, the conversion factors are also very different from person to person. The absurdity of this cannot be overemphasized. Seemly, the California legislature is able to legislate science! To do it is as silly as legislating the force of gravity! The result of this unique legislature is that human variances, so plentiful in blood analysis, can not be used as an argument in the court of law. The law in question deals with a breath test to blood test conversion ratio, which is kept at 2100:1 by law, which in reality can vary from 1700:1 to 3,000:1, as science clearly shows. Our differences are legislated to the average, which creates a major flaw in any DUI Breathalyzer machine. This problem is extremely obvious during the process of “absorption” which is a part of body metabolism that takes place immediately after the consumption of alcohol. Some research indicates that alcohol breath test overestimates true blood alcohol level by 40% if the person is in the absorption phase of the alcohol metabolism. Thus an alcohol breath test taken during the absorption phase can be much higher and true blood results of .07% can be shown on an alcohol breath test to be .10%.
Another reason for the inaccuracy of the breath test machine is the interference from mouth alcohol during the alcohol breath test. For example, if a person burps, or chews a gum (which was recently observed by Los Angeles DUI attorney during a DUI alcohol breath test), the gum or burping will affect alcohol concentration in exhaled air and show much higher results than the true blood alcohol level.
Lastly, some medical conditions can cause a serious overestimation of the alcohol breath test in a lot of people. Recently, in New York, a defendant showed to the court that her body can produce alcohol and intoxicate herself without consuming any alcoholic beverages. More common, however, is a medical digestive condition called GERD, which can interfere with the breath tests and can cause artificially high breath alcohol results. A person who suffers from GERD will have alcohol from the stomach travel to the esophagus or mouth and cause an artificially high alcohol level. If you are suffering from GERD, you have to assert your defense and talk to a DUI defense attorney and a doctor who can assist in the preparation of your defense. Usually, an expert is needed to defend GERD cases. Such an expert must testify how your GERD is affecting your breath alcohol level. Obviously, GERD does not work for blood alcohol cases – but creates a very good defense for breath alcohol cases. Under California Evidence Code 804, an forensic toxicology expert can testify about GERD as long as you have a medical report that can be given to an expert prior to testimony. This defense works in both the court and the DMV DUI defense context (APS cases).
Los Angeles DUI attorney can help you win your case. We have years of experience defending people like you in Los Angeles DUI courts. We also have an office near Van Nuys DUI court and specialize in defending Van Nuys DUI cases. Call our office at (818) 921 7744 for a free consultation with a top-rated Los Angeles DUI lawyer. We can help you mount a successful defense or get the best possible deal. DUI attorney in Los Angeles offers great payment plans and affordable legal defense. Call now to talk to the Los Angeles DUI attorney directly.