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Tag Archives: breath alcohol test

Breathalyzers and the “Mouth Alcohol” Problem

One of the most common causes of falsely high breathalyzer readings is the existence of mouth alcohol. The breathalyzer’s internal computer is making a major assumption when it captures a breath sample and then analyzes it for blood alcohol concentration (BAC): It assumes that the alcohol in the breath sample came from alveolar air — that is, air exhaled from deep within the lungs. Since we are trying to measure how much alcohol is in the blood, rather than in the breath, the ... Read More »

.02 BAC Violation, Is it a crime??

Often, we get calls from parents telling us their child has been charged with a .02 DUI. Recently on the legal question and answer site AVVO a user posted a question stating that they had been stopped for speeding, given a breath test in which they blew a .03 and were cited for DUI without being arrested. Several local attorneys claiming to be DUI experts or specialists jumped in to answer the question and told the person they needed an ... Read More »

Florida Fails to Follow Rules for Intoxilyzer Maintainence

Throughout the State of Florida the Intoxilyzer 8000 is the only breath test machine in use. All those arrested for DUI are asked to take a breath test using this machine. To help ensure the accuracy, the State of Florida has enacted rules that must be followed if the prosecution wishes to admit the results using Florida’s Implied Consent Law. When a DUI arrest is made, the driver is taken to a breath testing facility. These facilities are located throughout ... Read More »

False Breathalyzer Readings From Diabetes or Dieting

It is a little-known fact that breathalyzers do not measure alcohol: they actually measure the presence of a molecular group in chemical compounds. Ethyl alcohol (aka ethanol) contains the group, and so when the machine detects its presence (or, more accurately, infrared energy is absorbed by it), it simply assumes that the detected compound must be ethyl alcohol, otherwise it may lead to a false breathalyzer reading. Problem: there are thousands of compounds containing this molecular group — of which ... Read More »

Gastric Bypass Patients Beware!

Alcohol Consumption Affects Gastric Bypass Patients Differently. In 2011, the American College of Surgeons issued a press release reporting that patients who underwent a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) operation had a considerably higher breath alcohol content based on the same amount of alcohol consumed prior to the operation.  Moreover, these patients took significantly more time to return to a sober state after the operation compared with alcohol levels tested prior to having the procedure. Patients undergoing a RYGB operation should ... Read More »