A breathalyzer is a device used to measure the amount of alcohol present in an individual's blood system. The machine takes a sample of the subject's breath and estimates his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) level based upon the amount of alcohol detected in this test. Law enforcement officers who suspect that an individual is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol will often ask them to take a breathalyzer test. You are allowed to refuse the test, but doing so can be very incriminating.
How do breathalyzers work?
Breathalyzers take a breath sample from the test subject and analyze it to determine the amount of alcohol present. This is done by measuring the intensity of a reaction between the sample and a chemical mixture present in the machine. If an individual's blood alcohol content level is above the legal limit of 0.08, then he or she will be charged with a DUI offense. This can be contested in a court of law, however, and with the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer, an accused individual may not be convicted.
Breathalyzers are notoriously inaccurate because they do not take a direct blood sample of the test subject. Because of this, error may arise due to poor calibration, the presence of outside, interfering substances, the presence of mouth alcohol originating from actions such as burping, and certain variables that change from individual to individual.
If you would like to learn more about breathalyzer tests and your rights if you are pulled over and asked to take one, contact the Seattle DUI defense lawyers of the Cowan Kirk Law Firm today at 1-866-822-1230.