How Accurate Are Breath Tests In Determining Alcohol Impairment?
Attorney Myles Berman explains that let’s first talk about breath testing, both pre-arrest and post-arrest. The pre arrest breath tests are administered when the person is still being investigated. A lot of times, on the street, they will give another evidentiary post-arrest breath test on the same machine or on the same type of machine. It’s the portable hand held breath test machines. Also, after somebody is arrested for a DUI, they are taken back to jail and administered breath tests on desktop machines. But I am going to categorize both of these breath testing machines as breath testing in general. In my professional opinion, breath testing is not accurate at all to determine the alcohol level in a person’s blood. The breath test machines are measuring the alcohol on a person’s breath, not alcohol on a person’s blood.
All breath testing machines in California are calibrated to assume that the relationship between the alcohol on a person’s breath and alcohol in their blood is the same. The ratio for breath and blood is always the same for all people at all times. This is called the partition ratio. But the ratio is set by statute and the legislature that incorporated this ratio into the statute was based on merely an average, not for all people at all times. So let’s say a person is 6’5” and 300 pounds. All breath testing machines assume that the ratio between alcohol on that person’s breath and that person’s blood is the same as a 150-pound female and it’s just not the case.
To further prove my point that breath testing often than not give two different results within minutes apart. For example, a person can end up with a 0.16 and then, a 0.18 two or five minutes apart. It is scientifically impossible for a person to go from a 0.16 to a 0.18 in a span of two to five minutes. In California, breath tests consist of two separate breath samples. It is the same in reverse. If a person has a 0.20 breath test and shortly after that, 2 to 5 minutes later, has a 0.18 breath test then that’s scientifically impossible for a person to go from 0.20 to a 0.18. The same is true of a 0.08 and a 0.11 and a 0.09. It’s just not accurate. Contact Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney Myles L. Berman serving clients throughout Southern California and he will represent you with the care and attention you expect.
Description: Attorney Myles Berman explains the concept of the breath test and its accuracy in the video.
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