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10 Breathalyzer Facts

10 Breathalyzer Facts

1. Common Usage


Breathalyzers are typically administered to people who are suspected of DUI offenses. For instance, a person who causes or is suspected of causing an accident might be administered a breathalyzer to determine if alcohol consumption and intoxication was relevant. Alternately, a person might also be pulled over by a police officer to have a breathalyzer applied, in the absence of any bodily harm or property damage but with observable driving behavior suggesting the probability of harm or damage in the imminent future.

2. Inadmissibility of Portable Breathalyzers
A breathalyzer may not be applicable according to the specific usage of a portable breathalyzing test. This rule is not uniformly applied in the U.S., but the majority of state legislatures have passed laws preventing portable breathalyzers from being used specifically to provide evidence which is admissible for court proceedings.
3. Incorrect Usage of Breathalyzers
Even if the results returned from a breathalyzer apparently confirm DUI charges, breathalyzer results can be invalidated if the device is administered incorrectly or impermissibly. In the minority of U.S. states which allow for portable breathalyzers, these devices are recommended to be administered in 2 separate tests.

4. Lack of Breath Test Operator Licensure


If the person who administers a breathalyzer is not properly licensed, then the results are not valid. The majority of U.S. states provide for Breath Test Operator licensure in order to ensure that breathalyzers are operated correctly and fairly for accused DUI offenders.
5. Federal List of Approved Breath Evidential Instruments


The specific breathalyzer device used, in addition to the Operator, must be fully approved for use in DUI cases. This rule does not vary by jurisdiction or state in the U.S., in that the U.S. government has issued a generally applicable Federal List of Approved Breath Evidential Instruments.

6. Inaccuracy of Breathalyzers


The demonstrable rates of inaccuracy for breathalyzers may be used to argue against DUI cases. Accused DUI defendants may wish to refer this argument against breathalyzers to their professional legal representation in order to ensure that it is applied most effectively. The inaccuracy of breathalyzers has been determined according to specific factors, including an inability to distinguish between alcoholic beverages and ethanol.

7. Illegal Stops


The results of a breathalyzer can also be invalidated by any illegal measure used in the course of a stop to determine whether a DUI offense has been committed.

8. Breathalyzer Application


The inaccurate application of a breathalyzer might be testified to by reliable witnesses as to the sobriety of the individual facing DUI charges. People who witnessed the behavior purported to have caused intoxication or were present at the time of the arrest might be called to testify and cast doubt on the breathalyzer results, such as with a supporting citation of breathalyzer variability in use.

9. Police Officer’s Professional Background


Doubt might be cast on the use of a breathalyzer by the prior record of the administering law enforcement officer. Legal representatives should accordingly inquire into whether any disciplinary actions were taken against the arresting officer.

10. Breathalyzer Malfunction


Any malfunction which occurs with a breathalyzer can disprove its results.

Quick Glance At The Breathalyzer Reviews

Quick Glance At The Breathalyzer Reviews

 
In recent years, it has become a more common occurrence for people to purchase a home breathalyzer or portable breathalyzer. These breathalyzer instruments are meant to measure the blood alcohol content of people that have consumed alcohol. A breathalyzer for sale may prove to be a worthy investment. 
 
 
A DUI arrest and conviction can prove to have detrimental effects on a person's life, and home breathalyzer may be able to prevent a person from getting behind the wheel of an automobile and driving while what is considered legally intoxicated. However, simply because a breathalyzer for sale was purchased and used does not necessarily warrant that a person is able to drive, regardless of if the reading is below that of the legal limit. 
 
 
If a person considers purchasing a breathalyzer for sale, one should consult with various breathalyzer reviews. The fact is that there are a myriad of different manufacturers, models, and types available on the market. Many of the home breathalyzer models available for sale to the public are considered to be professional grade, and will prove to be quite reliable in terms of accuracy.
 
 
However, certain things to consider are the price of a breathalyzer for sale, which can vary from twenty dollars to anywhere in the hundred dollar range. If a home breathalyzer is to be purchased for the purpose of determining how much a person has had to drink before driving, then those that are considered to be professional grade should be given priority, for they will tend to be more reliable. 

Understanding Blood Tests for BAC

Understanding Blood Tests for BAC

It isn’t a secret that the BAC reading on breathalyzers can come back somewhat unreliable, and in some cases give a false positive reading for legal intoxication. Because of this, there have been other ways to test for alcohol in the body more effectively. Urine tests tests for alcohol in a person’s urine, but can also prove inaccurate since the alcohol can be diluted in the urine, and for the time it takes to conduct a test. With these things being considered, there is a means to test for alcohol in a person’s system extremely precisely, and that is blood tests.There has also been great controversy surrounding the use of blood alcohol tests, primarily when forced testing has taken place. 
For the most part, when a person is about to be tested by an officer for BAC, he or she is usually given the option to choose between breath, urine, or blood. Blood is obviously the least chosen one, unless a person feels that anything they may have consumed could give a false breath reading, and want to assure their sobriety to the highest extent. The person can refuse testing which could result in a tougher penalty for them, whether it is a longer jail sentence or suspension of driving privileges. In the majority of states, refusal could end in both of those. So this leaves to question when forced blood test can be taken. 
There have been many court cases where officers cited a reasonable cause to  have a blood alcohol test performed on a subject, which has led to many issues. These come primarily in the case of an accident, where the officers believe the person was under the influence of alcohol which led to their accident cause. In a case in Utah, a woman had forced blood tests done on her after an accident because the officer didn’t want to waste valuable time incriminating her as drunk driving.
In state court, the officers argued that they couldn’t allow for time to pass to acquire a warrant where the BAC level would drop, and not prove their case. The case was later taken to appeals court where the woman won; the court found that the officers unlawfully obtained her blood sample without a warrant and showed no inclination to attempt to get one.
It’s cases like this one, and ones where accidents that cause death which bring controversy to forced blood drawing due to a “reasonable cause”. Reasons such as these are an added reason for the disregard to use blood alcohol testing.

Understanding Urine Tests for BAC

 Understanding Urine Tests for BAC

Due to the inaccuracies in breathalyzer tests, more tests are available to be able to determine a correct blood alcohol concentration. These tests can confirm or contradict BAC readings from a breathalyzer, and may help or further incriminate an individual. One of these tests is the urine alcohol test.
Urine tests for alcohol function by testing for ethyl glucuronide in urine. Ethyl glucuronide is an ethanol alcohol that would be present in a urine sample of a person that has consumed an alcoholic beverage. Depending on the drinking patterns or behaviors of an individual, alcohol can be tested as far back as a week (and sometimes longer for a heavy drinker such as an alcoholic). This doesn’t mean that if you drank on Saturday and got tested for urine at work on Monday that you’d be subject to being accused of drinking on the job. The longer time that passes with the alcohol in your system causes less to show, and the urine dilutes it as well. 
Some employers choose to test their employees for alcohol ( in addition to or in place of drug testing) to be able to check if an employee has broken company guidelines. When detecting for alcohol, a urine alcohol test would show that alcohol was used within an 80 hour time period from the test, for a positive reading. Most employers that conduct alcohol urine tests, perform these tests at random. This prevents the employees from “preparing” for the test, such as abstaining from drinking for a certain time period, to provide negative results. Another use of urine alcohol tests is by parents testing their children. This may sound rare, but it actually is very common. There are kits available for home testing that provide parents to test their children to make sure they have not been drinking underage. 
Because of easy accessibility to these tests, more and more parents are testing their children to keep them from trying to drink, or to confirm a suspicion. Adults can’t escape these tests either, spouses, relatives, and friends are sometimes subject to these tests by loved ones if they are trying to abstain from alcohol. For example a family member may conduct this test on a recovering alcohol trying to remain sober. These tests may be part of the rehab protocol in addition to their testing, or just a suggestion to assist the person on their journey. 
The most common use for urine alcohol testing is by law enforcement agencies after an individual has been arrested for Driving Under the Influence. These tests usually follow a breathalyzer test either at the police station or a hospital. They combine with a breathalyzer to assist in giving a genuine reading of a person’s BAC level.
Urine alcohol tests are widely used by different organizations, groups, and people as a single or added measure of testing for alcohol in the urine of a human being. These tests have become more common over the years, and the means for testing have developed into more convenient kits that one can even use at home. This allows for almost anyone to monitor alcohol in a person’s body, and determine whether that person has broken any rules, laws, or regulations.

Understanding Hair Tests for BAC

Understanding Hair Tests for BAC

A less heard of testing for alcohol in the human body is hair sample testing. The most common are breathalyzer, urine, and blood, however hair samples offer another method of testing for alcohol in addition to these common existing ones.
The functionality of hair testing is similar to that of urine testing, and can have similar drawbacks. Likewise, the test results will provide data of alcohol use in the past and not current impairment. The reason we don’t hear or know much about this type of testing is because of the rarity of it being used. Hair testing can cost more than urine testing, even though it is a less intrusive method of testing. Other drawbacks are that the tests will not be able to detect any alcohol within a week’s past, even though the positive results come up twice as much as in urine testing. 
Hair testing cannot be performed using a single strand of hair, but rather a group of them roughly the diameter of an average pencil. These hairs must be an average of 1 and 1/2 inches long. Alcohol testing in  hair is primarily used to look into and show alcohol dependency over a long period of time. They can portray the misuse of alcohol in an individual such as an alcoholic, and also the abstinence thereof, during a period of rehabilitation. Some inaccuracy lies when testing for hair because negative results can not rule out certain factors such as normal shampooing of hair as a contributing factor. The majority of hair processes such as hair dye, bleaching, and perms cannot affect the results of a hair test.
However, another downside is that hair testing cannot be conducted on a person with hair shorter than half an inch, or the obvious, with a shaved head. This type of testing is relatively new, and only recently has alcohol been able to be tested in hair. Hair testing was primarily used in testing for drugs, until recent advancements.
The upside to these tests if affordable, is that they can show alcohol use for a lengthy period of time, months and sometimes even years depending on the behavioral drinking pattern of the test subject. They are of course non intrusive, like breathalyzers, and can detect accurate results  for everyone from heavy drinkers to social drinkers, and non drinkers alike. Most people would prefer this test to a urine or blood test because they feel it’s less of an invasion of privacy in its method. 
It makes them less uncomfortable when providing the sample, similar to giving a breath sample during a breathalyzer test. The recent addition of this testing allows people to have another option when being tested for alcohol (and drug) use by employers. Most people don’t know that hair testing for alcohol exists yet, due to the fact that it is so new. Little by little companies are finding out more about the availability of hair testing, and how it can benefit them and their employees.
Hair testing has been utilized effectively to detect drug use by a person, mainly by employers. Most of them use urine testing at random to screen for drugs to make sure their staff is not using them. However, when they want to look deeper into the matter, they use hair testing. These tests allow them to see a pattern of previous drug use, and even when it started and if it stopped and continued. Now with the addition of alcohol as a test subject for hair testing, similar patterns can be observed and a more complete judge of character can be derived. 

Read This About Other Test Overview

Read This About Other Test Overview

Urine
 
Urine testing is a common method to detect alcohol in a person’s system. It can provide a significantly accurate account of whether or not a person had been drinking in a time frame of 80 hours. The method is commonly used in place of blood testing (or prior to), and instead of a breathalyzer (or in addition to). Urine test results can take some time to come back, and can also be affected by alcohol diluted in the urine itself.  
 
 
Police officers use urine testing to detect alcohol if an individual has requested it over other methods or if they want to confirm a breathalyzer result even further. They can be taken at a nearby hospital under police supervision, or in a police precinct itself. 
 
 
Blood
 
 
The most reliable and accurate form of alcohol testing is blood alcohol testing. Blood alcohol testing is done by drawing a blood sample from a person’s arm and testing it for alcohol and alcohol components. They are the most effective means for giving a Blood Alcohol Concentration (or Content) level. These tests are performed primarily in DUI related incidents at a local hospital, under the close watch of a police officer. 
 
Most commonly they are used when the DUI offender has caused an accident, and especially when it has resulted in a loss of life. Due to the intrusiveness of this type of testing, and the cost, it is the least commonly used of all forms of alcohol tests. They have also led to a great amount of controversial issues. 
 
 
Hair
 
 
Aside from the most common forms of alcohol testing known to the general public, there is a relatively new method. This method is known as hair testing for alcohol, and it is a somewhat limited method. Alcohol testing using hair sample does not show recent alcohol use but rather long term usage and dependency of alcohol. It can help outline behavioral patterns with alcohol that a person may have had, as well as abstinence from it. 
 
 
This type of testing provides another method less intrusive to that of blood and urine alcohol testing.  The testing itself requires a sample of hair that is about one and a half inches in length, and has the diameter of an average pencil. Hair testing, for those who know of it, is more expensive than urine testing, and commonly used to look at a person’s drinking habits and lack of them.

Breathalyzer Overview

Breathalyzer Overview

Origins


The origins of alcohol testing date back over one hundred years, and the creation of the first “breathalyzer” machine in the last century. Breathalyzer is simply a brand name for the device, but has been adopted as the general name for a breath content analyzer device in the last years. 
A breathalyzer is used to measure the blood alcohol content of a human’s breath sample. Police officers use breathalyzers to acquire BAC readings of those they suspect of drunk driving. This BAC reading is then compared to the legal limit of the state to determine whether a person is indeed legally intoxicated or not. Today, personal breathalyzers exist for those wishing to take precaution before hitting the road and avoiding legal troubles and possible disaster.
State Limit

State BAC limits varied greatly in past years, but since then all states have conformed to one BAC level of 0.08. The states universally see this as the legal limit of intoxication. The fines and penalties one can face can be altered by how much over the limit a person was, such as a person being double the legal limit at 0.16. 
Usually when subjects are well over the limit they receive no leniency in their sentence and are prosecuted to the full extent of the law, receiving harsher punishment. States also have a Zero Tolerance BAC limit in effect for those drivers that are found guilty of underage drinking and driving. These BAC levels still vary among states from 0.00 to 0.02, while 0.02 is the most commonly seen one.


Nation-wide Change in BAC
The nationwide Blood Alcohol Content limit was changed nationwide to a universal 0.08, bringing everyone on the same page. This change unified every state to sharing the same views on what was considered to be a legal limit for intoxication while driving. States passed bills that put into law the change to lower their limits that were once higher, usually 0.10, joining other states who already had made the alteration to 0.08.
This new limit showed the nation that the country as a whole would have less tolerance for people drinking and driving. The stiffening of penalties combined with this was a step forward in trying to lower the number of DUIs across the board, as well as alcohol-related vehicle accidents. 


Errors and Common Sources
Breathalyzers have long been praised for the effect they brought to law enforcement in the battle against drunk driving. However, as helpful as these devices have proven to be, they can also be harmful to others. Certain breathalyzers that detect methyl alcohol in a breath can incorrectly pick up other substances where compounds of a methyl alcohol structure exist. 
This would lead to a false positive reading of alcohol, possibly giving a BAC reading that shows the person tested, to be legally intoxicated. Breathalyzers can also give false readings from a person that has taken a sip from a drink recently, or even used mouthwash.  The amount of objects, and substances that can cause false positive readings are alarming for the sober individual, because it could land them in prison incorrectly.
Personal Breathalyzer Devices

Breathalyzer devices have helped law enforcement agencies enforce penalties on drunk drivers, and keep them off the road. They’ve provided officers with a non intrusive way for them to read a person’s BAC level to determine whether or not that person was above the legal limit of intoxication. In recent years, companies have developed personal breathalyzer devices that are portable and for the most part, effective in giving a person their BAC level. 
These devices come in different sizes, ranging from the size of a mobile phone to ones that can fit right on a keychain. Personal breathalyzers have helped responsible people stay off roads by informing them when they have had too much to drink, and may not necessarily be able to feel it on their own. They are a great addition to help lower the number of DUIs.

What Are The State Limit

What Are The State Limit

Breathalyzers measure the blood alcohol content of a person's breath sample that is introduced to it. This BAC level is then compared to that of the state set as the legal limit. If the BAC level of the person is found to be higher than that of the legal limit, they will be arrested and charged with drunk driving.
 
 
This exists in every state, however, the actual BAC limits  differed among states, as did/do the penalties. For the most part, states have joined together to keep a set BAC level of 0.08. This is to prevent people from being able to drink more before they drive in one state over anohter, which could result in disaster. For example when the limit of one state was generally higher than that of its neighboring state, perhaps an out of state visitor would think he can still drink the same and either end up getting in an accident or charged with a DUI if pulled over. 
 
 
Aside from the state BAC limit, each state also has a "Zero Tolerance BAC Level". This level pertains to those people in suspicion of DUI that are below the drinking age. Underage drinking is no stranger to society, so underage drinking and driving comes along as no surprise. These BAC levels provide officers with a reference on how to deal with these underage drinkers that have chosen to break another law. There is also a variation in Zero Tolerance BAC levels among states just like regular BAC levels. They can vary from 0.00 to 0.02, with 0.02 being the most commonly used one.  
 
 
These measurements of BAC levels were last updated on August of 2009 so are fairly up to date, however certain laws may have been passed or changed to alter these levels as well as other aspects. Although the states now uniformly follow the 0.08 BAC level as a standard, there are other circumstances that can affect their penalties. Individual states can have additional penalties and fines depending on the BAC level you have when arrested. For instance, if you have double the legal limit you can serve a much stricter sentence in county jail, or pay double the fine, suffer longer license suspension, etc… 
 
 
This goes to make an example of those who are driving while belligerently drunk as opposed to those who may have misjudged and had an extra drink at a bar. It can help teach those offenders to be even more careful next time, after being handed such a stiff punishment. 
 
 
Breathalyzer tests provide the proper, accurate, non invasive method for police officers to be able to check the drivers for their BAC level. With state limits being mainly universal now, it is easier for people to be able to monitor their BAC levels even when traveling through or to a different state. This can prevent from any misinformation leading to a DUI. It also portrays each state as being stronger and less lenient to drunk driving, which is a huge issue in the United States as a whole.

What are Personal Breathalyzer Devices

What are Personal Breathalyzer Devices

Increases in the number of DUI cases caused not only law enforcement departments and state legislatures to step up in the fight, but also (even if for profit as well) manufacturers of breathalyzers. These companies realized that they could make personal units that are portable for people to carry around with them, so they can take their own precautionary measured before getting behind the wheel of a car.
Personal come in many different shapes, sizes, and models, some better (more accurate) than others. These personal breathalyzers are yet another weapon to combat DUI offenses and lower the number of alcohol-related accidents and deaths due to these accidents. It serves as a helpful tool for any responsible individual who may want to care for not only their own life but for the lives of those around them. They can also use it as a measure to protect their driving privileges, even if not inebriated. Many times people have a few drinks and feel fine, and drive home and make it home fine, and their judgment was barely, if even, impaired. 
What they may not know, is that their BAC level is slightly or well above the legal limit of the state. If they would have been pulled over on that drive home, and the officer administered a breathalyzer due to suspicion, the person would be arrested under the charge of DUI. DUI offenses are extremely severe, and can affect one’s life greatly. First of all the charge will remain on your record, and on top of that you may be subject to suspended or revoked driving privileges. Not to mention the many fines that will accompany such a charge to emphasize its gravity. 
This is where a personal breathalyzer can come into play and help avoid that person from driving home at that current moment until they sober up, or have someone else drive them instead. It is never a good idea to drive with a few drinks in your system but a personal breathalyzer can give you a significantly accurate reading of your BAC levels on your breath. 
They are simple and easy to use, much more simple than taking your own urine or blood sample. The truth of the matter is, if a person is drinking, they shouldn’t be driving at all, but this device can help keep people who are definitely not in a state to drive off the road. Personal breathalyzers promote a sense of responsibility from a person drinking, and show friends and family their concern for safety and a lack of carelessness.  
Today, with the advancement of technologies, there are a variety of personal breathalyzers to choose from, sized like a calculator, or small enough to fit on your keychain. They vary in price by the system they use to detect the alcohol reading (i.e. fuel cell), which will make one model more accurate over another. The best way to choose a personal breathalyzer that can give you the best possible reading to their capability is by reading through reviews on web sites and articles, and compare details. These devices can combine with other tools and efforts to keep drunk drivers off our roads.

What Are The Errors and Common Sources

What Are The Errors and Common Sources

As helpful as breathalyzers have been in the testing of people thought to be intoxicated, like any other machine, they have a room for error. THeir accuracy can sometimes be argued in relation to a product the person was using prior to the test. This is why the only  highly accurate test for blood alcohol concentration is a blood test.
 
 
Breathalyzers have a margin for error if they find a certain compound in your breath. Infrared breath testers search for and detect for compounds that contain methyl alcohol (ethanol), methyl group structure, that reside in alcoholic beverages. The thing is, that anywhere between 70 and 80 of the same compounds that are found in a methyl group structure, can exist in the breath of a human at any given time. 
 
 
This can lead to an incorrect detection as ethyl alcohol, giving an inaccurate and false reading to the breathalyzer. The compounds in a methyl group are: Propylene, Propane, Methane, Isopropyl Alcohol, Ethyl chloride, Ethate, Dimethylhydrazine, Dimethylether, Dimethylamine, Butadiene, Butane, and Acetic Acid. Also, people that are diabetic or dieters tend to have acetone level higher than other people, and hundreds or thousands of times higher. False readings can also come from food or drink. For example, you can take a sip of a drink and then drive somewhere, be pulled over, given a breathalyzer, and show a reading of a person who's well above the limit and said to be drunk. 
 
 
 
This is due to the fact that alcohol can rest in your mouth for a given period of time before it eventually disappears. Until that point, it would show up on your breath in a BAC level reading through a breathalyzer. Then there are foods that are made with liqueur, such as desserts, more specifically a cake. You can give off a false BAC reading from having that cake and then giving a breathalyzer test result.  
 
 
 
These seem like a lot of factors to consider, and they are not even half of them, even the elements in the environment can alter the BAC reading on a breathalyzer. If you work or come in contact with cleaning fluids, paint removers, gasoline, oil-based paints, lacquers, varnishes, celluloid, contact cement, or other relative substances, you could show a legal intoxication level according to a breathalyzer. Mouthwash is one of the most commonly used products that contains alcohol, that after use can portray an intoxication BAC level on a breathalyzer. 
 
 
Some other things that could cause false positive BAC readings are blood, moisture, vomit, tobacco, dirt, and smoke in a person's mouth. Body temperature can also play a key role in giving a false reading, if above normal. The BAC reading can increase an approximate 8% for every degree of body temperature above normal a person is. Cell phones, police radios, and standing under high tension wires (when outside the police cruiser taking a breathalyzer test) can also affect the breathalyzer and give a positive reading. Taking all these things into consideration makes people believe it is almost impossible to obtain an accurate BAC reading from a breathalyzer.