Alcohol Breath Tests – Everything You Need to Know

Most people know what a breathalyzer is and its purpose, but there are many misconceptions about its legal application. Some people think they can beat alcohol breath tests, some think they can refuse them without consequence, and some may not completely understand their full rights. Let’s explore the ins and outs of alcohol breath tests.

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Roadside vs Official Alcohol Breath Tests

When people think of DUIs, typically an image of a police officer giving an alcohol breath test on the side of the road comes to mind. While these roadside tests occur often, they are merely a way to gather evidence for an arrest rather than to use in court. These roadside tests use portable breathalyzers that are not accurate enough to use as official evidence.

Official alcohol breath tests typically occur at the police station once someone has been brought in under suspicion of driving under the influence. These are much more accurate and have more guidelines and regulations associated with them. For example, in order for a breath test to be admissible in court, it must be calibrated routinely and properly. This is just one fact you need to know about the legality of alcohol breath tests.

Breath Sample Size

Did you know that you can be charged with refusal to take a breath test even if you provide a breath sample? If you do not follow directions and give a breath sample large enough, you can be charged. In New Jersey, alcohol breath tests are required to be carried out using a Draeger Alcotest 7110 with a minimum breath sample of 1.5 liters of air. It is not a viable legal defense if the driver is too intoxicated to provide the minimum sample under the proper guidelines. Only certain health conditions can be used as a defense. Keep this in mind if you are ever in a situation where you are tempted to ‘beat’ a breath test.

There also needs to be multiple alcohol breath tests in order for the evidence to be considered legitimate. Police will take two complete samples in order to double check the accuracy of the test results. If one of these tests shows the driver is under the .08% BAC threshold while the other shows the driver is over it, the police must use the lower result.

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Women Over 60

Another interesting fact about alcohol breath tests is that the minimum breath sample is not the same across the board. Women over the age of 60 have different rules when it comes to breath sample size. Studies have found that women over this age have an average breath volume under 1.5 liters. Men, however, were found to be capable of 1.5-liter samples regardless of age. If a woman over 60 provides a sample less than 1.5 liters, they can not be charged with refusal to submit a test. However, if the woman provides a sample of 1.5 liters or greater, and gives a smaller breath sample on following attempts, she may be charged with refusal. These are relatively unknown facts that make or break a DUI case.

Failed Alcohol Breath Tests

If you have been charged with a DUI or refusal to submit alcohol breath tests, you are going to need the help of an experienced DUI lawyer. Thomas V Campo is a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer that will do everything possible to fight your DUI conviction. With over 20 years of experience and hundreds of cases won, Thomas V Campo knows exactly what to do. If you have been charged with a DUI or refusal to submit a blood test, contact Thomas V Campo immediately.

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