What Is Breath Analysis

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When discussing laws regarding driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated, the term breath analysis comes up often. Breath analysis refers to a test that is done on a drunk driver. In theory, it has the ability to tell the blood alcohol content of the driver. In the United States, you are allowed to drive with some alcohol in your system. However, in most states, if you exceed a blood alcohol content level over 0.08%, you are no longer considered able to drive. Therefore, if you are pulled over and your breath analysis reads higher than that, you can be charged with DWI or DUI. Some form of breath analysis has been around since the 1930's and tests keep getting more accurate with time.

There have been many new designs in breath analysis over the years and they are becoming more and more accurate with each new model. These types of test are usually administered to someone who is pulled over and the police suspect that he or she is under the influence of alcohol. This will tell the officer exactly how intoxicated the person is at the time and whether or not they should be driving. If they discover that the driver has a level higher than the legal limit of alcohol in their system, then the officer can charge them with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated.

There are a few important things to remember when taking a roadside breathalyzer test. First and foremost is that most of these roadside tests are imperfect measurements of true blood alcohol content. There is no way to directly measure blood alcohol content without taking an actual sample of blood, and blood samples can not be taken on the side of the road they have to be taken at a station. Breathalyzer machines are calibrated to estimate blood alcohol content based on the measured amount of alcohol in a person's breath. If the tester isn't properly calibrated, that could throw of the estimation and be grounds for dismissing the reading.

There are a few other conditions by which a breathalyzer reading might be dismissed. These include taking into account at what stage of absorption of alcohol the person is at, whether or not the subject just ate, and any possible interfering compounds that might be present at the time of testing.

Additionally, some studies have shown that using an alcohol-based mouthwash or spray like Listerine or Binaca can dramatically increase someone's measured breath alcohol content. This is because the high amount of alcohol in these products gets deposited in the mouth. Very little alcohol is absorbed into the blood by the mouth, so these products do not change blood alcohol content noticeably.

It is important to note, however, that despite the many ways that breathalyzers can make mistakes, qualified officers have extensive training on how to produce and obtain accurate results from their breathalyzers. There are cases when the officer might make a mistake or the machine is faulty, but these are rare.

Drinking and driving is a very dangerous and serious crime. If you have been drinking at all, it is best to simply find a way to get home that doesn't involve getting behind the steering wheel of a vehicle. However, if you do make the mistake of driving while intoxicated, remember that you have rights that must be protected, and that you need someone looking out for your best interests. Contact a qualified DWI/DUI attorney for advice and guidance through the process.


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