Alcohol Breath Tests

Breath Tests

If you have been suspected of driving while intoxicated in Los Angeles, the law enforcement office that pulls you over will require that you submit to a chemical test. The purpose of this test is to confirm that there are drugs and/or alcohol in your blood. In California, you have the choice of submitting to a breath test or a blood test. At the time your California driver’s license was issued, you agreed to these tests under the “implied consent” law. If you refuse to submit to the test, the California DMV can and will impose severe penalties for your refusal to act in accordance with the “implied consent” rule. Depending upon the results of your test, your drunk driving defense lawyer will have numerous ways to dispute the results and accuracy of your test results.

There are many factors which may affect the results of your breath or blood test, which include:

Weight – In general, a person who has a low body weight will be more affected by the same amount of alcohol than someone who is heavier. For example, a larger person will most likely have a lower BAC reading, even when the amount of alcohol consumed is equal to the amount of alcohol consumed by a smaller person, due in part to the percentage of water in the body.

Gender – Typically, women have a higher percentage of body fat than men, therefore resulting in a smaller amount (lower percentage) of body water. This means that if a woman and a man with an equal body weight drink the same amount of liquor, it would be likely that the woman would have a higher BAC. There are differing opinions on this, as some studies have shown that females get rid of alcohol from their bodies more quickly than men, which would discredit the viewpoint of how gender affects a person’s BAC.

Age – As people get older, their total body water tends to lessen, which could result in older people being increasingly affected by an equal amount of alcohol ingested by a younger person. It has been suggested that blood alcohol concentrations may be as much as 10% higher in an older person than in a younger person who has drank the same amount of alcohol.

Breathalyzer Tests

A breathalyzer is a complicated device which employs a combination of chemicals, which when they come into contact with air exhaled from your lungs will produce a chemical change, which is related to your BAC.

When a person drinks alcohol, the alcohol travels into the bloodstream due to absorption by the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines, and is not digested immediately. Consequently, as blood gets to the lungs, there is an amount of alcohol which moves into the lungs. Alcohol evaporates when it comes into contact with air in the lungs, which shows that the concentration of alcohol in the lungs is directly associated to the concentration of alcohol in the blood. Upon exhaling, the evaporated alcohol will determine your blood alcohol level during a breathalyzer test.

It is widely known that there are inconsistencies with breathalyzer test results, which is why it is so important that you hire a skilled Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer following your drunk driving arrest.

For example, Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations is used to regulate the use of breath tests in California, and it is mandatory that operators of breathalyzer tests must adhere to its guidelines. Your California DUI case can be greatly affected if it can be proven that the guidelines were not exactingly adhered to in your situation. Other inconsistencies may include lack of training on the part of the operator of the breath test and the actual condition and maintenance of the breathalyzer device.

Blood Tests

In many cases, it is suggested that when deciding between a blood test and breathalyzer test, you choose to take a blood test. This is due to the fact that the evidence from a breath test cannot be saved, while a sample of blood can be preserved for further examination in the future.

During the blood test, the California code of regulations must be abided by and the test may only be performed by a qualified person. There are countless factors which may have an effect on the accuracy of a blood test, including contamination and chemicals that may have been mixed improperly. These factors, in the hands of a skilled California drunk driving defense lawyer can help in creating a strong defense for your case.

If you have been charged with a DUI or driving under the influence in California, you should retain the legal representation of an experienced defense lawyer. Call Lawrence Wolf today for your free consultation.

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Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Disclaimer: The felony, misdemeanor, traffic, criminal defense, drunk driving, DUI, theft, drugs, three strikes law, juvenile law, or other legal criminal defense information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results portrayed here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ if based on different facts.