What is a breathalyzer test? Are breath tests accurate?
Boston DUI Defense Attorneys For an Expert Legal Defense Against Drunk Driver Charges Related to Refusing to Take a Breath Test and Failing a Breath Test
What is a Breathalyzer?
The breathalyzer is a device that calculates a person’s Blood Alcohol Level (B.A.C) by measuring the levels of alcohol in the lung air. The lung air is blown through a tube and across an infrared light. The amount infrared light absorbed by the alcohol is the calculated into a B.A.C level. After the initial test is performed by the suspect, the machine is calibrated by testing a predetermined alcohol solution that must produce a reading of .14, .15, .16 or the suspect’s first test will be deemed invalid. If the controlled test produces a result of .14, .15, or .16 then the suspect will supply a second sample which must be within .02 of his first test or the entire breath test will invalid.
Can you legally refuse to take a breath test?
Yes. But that does not mean you cannot be arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a drunk driving offense.
In Massachusetts, the operator of an automobile will be offered a chance to take a breath test if a police officer has reasonable cause to believe the operator is under the influence of alcohol. Refusing to take a breath test can have legal consequences of their own and will not necessarily keep you from being charged with a drunk driving offense.
Failing a Breathalyzer Test
A failed breath test will automatically result in a 30 day suspension of license. Anyone under the age of 21 that submits to a breath test and blows a .02 or higher automatically faces a 30 day suspension of license. With few exceptions, the results of the breathalyzer will be submitted into evidence at a trial.
Massachusetts law presumes a driver is impaired if he or she has blown a .08 or higher. Under Melanie’s law, drunk driving is proven if and when the prosecution establishes that the operator had blood alcohol content above .08 and operated an automobile on a public way. As a result the prosecution doesn’t even need to prove that the driver was under the influence of alcohol as he only needs to show the operator had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. All of this makes the breath test results a very important part of a DUI trial.
Did you fail a breath test or got a false positive result when you had not been drinking?
There are many reasons why breath tests can produce false results. People who have diabetes and are producing ketones as a result of high blood sugars can have false test results. Other reasons tests are not always accurate include improper set up and use, interference from nearby electrical devices. If you failed a breath test for any reason we can help. For a free consultation contact a Plymouth County drunk driving offense defense lawyer with a track record of success you can count on.
False Results From a Breathalyzer Test
This machine, like any other, is prone to interference, errors and false positives. Interference from any electrical device in the surrounding area can affect the breath test results. Radios, walkie-talkies, cell phones, fluorescent lighting, copy machines, electronic locks, security cameras, computers, fax machines, and police dispatch transmitters are just some of the many sources of electromagnetic energy present in any police station that can interfere with a breathalyzer. Another issue with the Drunk Driving Breathalyzer Test is that it not only identifies the alcohol found in alcoholic drinks (ethyl alcohol) which is comprised of ethyl molecules, but they detect any compound that contains a methyl molecular structure.
Up to eighty percent of the one hundred compounds found in the breath of a human contain methyl molecules. The breathalyzer machine is asked to contend with all the electromagnetic energy present in a police station and to differentiate between ethyl and methyl molecules. This is a lot to ask of a machine. Additionally, there are set procedures that police must follow when administrating a breath test. If the police deviate from these procedures or fail to follow the methodology that is set out then the results can’t be held against you and will be thrown out at trial.
Brockton, MA False Positive Breath Test Defense Attorney with Trial Law Experience
An experienced Massachusetts Drunk Driving Attorney knows all the procedural and interference related reasons a test should or could be thrown out on. At the very least, a skilled OUI lawyer should be able to identify and explain these technical deficiencies to the jury casting doubt in its mind as to the validity of the test. Attorney Gerald J. Noonan is an experienced DUI attorney that knows how to challenge these results. As a practicing DUI attorney in Brockton, MA he has been trying DUI/OUI related cases for nearly three decades.
Our Drunk Driving Lawyers represent clients in Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Hingham, Wareham, Middleboro; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Wrentham, Attleboro, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham; and Middlesex County including Cambridge, Lowell, Somerville, Newton, Woburn, Framingham, Malden, Chelsea, Everett, Arlington, Medford and Waltham; Cape Cod, Barnstable, Falmouth and Worcester; Essex County including Lynn, Lawrence and Salem; and the Greater Boston area including South Boston, Revere, Dorchester and Roxbury.
Call us to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 584-6955 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.