Breath Testing

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The modern breathalyzer (breath analyzers) that we know today was first used in the 1950s. Since its introduction, it has been one of the most standard ways to test for blood alcohol content (BAC). Although many laws have been passed to discourage people from driving under the influence of alcohol, there will always be people who disregard the law and who choose to put themselves and others at danger. For this reason, breathalyzers are still needed. A breathalyzer test is one of the most common and effective ways to find and arrest drunk drivers on the road.

Breath testing does not directly measure blood alcohol content or concentration a blood sample is needed for that. Instead, a breathalyzer estimates BAC indirectly, measuring the amount of alcohol in one's breath. The device is portable, and most police officers carry one in their car in case they suspect someone of being drunk behind the wheel. Once someone has blown into the device, the blood alcohol content is read and recorded by the machine. If that level is higher than .08, the officer has justifiable reason to arrest the person for driving while intoxicated. In some states, people are legally allowed to refuse to take a breathalyzer test; however, this refusal is viewed as a admission of guilt, and the person can be arrested anyway. There are laws in place in most states that require the person to submit to a breathalyzer at the request of an officer of the law; you actually submit to it when you apply for a drivers license (implied consent). Failure to comply with the breath test can give the officer reason to take away the person's license. Therefore, it is not advisable to refuse any type of breath test.

Before an officer administers a field breathalyzer test, he or she may also have you perform other sobriety tests, such as repeating the alphabet backwards or walking a straight line. Failure to pass these tests will then lead to the breathalyzer being performed. If this is failed, the officer will most likely arrest you on the spot and bring you to the police station to make a formal arrest.

The punishments in drunk driving vary since every case is different. For a first offense, you can expect to have your license revoked for a few months and be required to pay a fine. If you are convicted again, you could face jail time. Most times your license will then be suspended for a much longer time. The judge also could require you to attend drunk driving school at this point. DUI/DWI schools and programs are designed to show people convicted of driving under the influence just how terrible and dangerous their actions could be. A new development in the fight against drunk driving is a device that is installed on the ignition of the convicted drunk driver's car. Every time that a person goes to start their car, they will have to blow into a device similar to a breathalyzer. If there is any alcohol on their breath, the car won't start.

If you have recently been arrested for drunk driving after taking a breath test, you need to get in contact with a DUI/DWI lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will know how to fight your case effectively and may find a way to reduce your sentence or get your charges dropped. With a breathalyzer test, lawyers know that the readings can often be faulty, due to a malfunctioning or ill-maintained device, or an officer who did not perform the test accurately. A lawyer will let you know of your rights in this type of situation, and what you can expect during the process of your trial and court cases. Contact a qualified attorney today and discuss all of your legal options.


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