Tuesday, May 28, 2024

DUI News Blog

The Latest DUI News and Information From DUI Defense Attorneys Across the Country

Breathalyzer Phone Apps Shouldn’t Be Relied On!

Like all states, Michigan’s legal limit is .08.  This means that if you take a breath test, and the breath test shows .08 or more, you can be convicted on this basis alone – even if you were driving just fine.

Of course the police can also test your blood or urine. Here is what the judge would tell the jury about your breath test:

If you find that there were 0.08 grams or more of alcohol per 210 liters of the defendant’s breath when he operated the vehicle you may find the defendant guilty of operating a motor vehicle with an unlawful bodily alcohol content, whether or not this alcohol content affected the defendant’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.

One problem with this law is that it is not unlawful in Michigan (or anywhere else) to drink and drive.  Drinking and then driving becomes unlawful only if you are under the influence of alcohol or have an unlawful bodily alcohol level (discussed above).

For the theory of driving under the influence, with our without a breath test, the judge will tell the jury:

“Under the influence of alcohol” means that because of drinking alcohol, the defendant’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in a normal manner was substantially lessened. To be under the influence, a person does not have to be what is called “dead drunk,” that is, falling down or hardly able to stand up. On the other hand, just because a person has drunk alcohol or smells of alcohol does not prove, by itself, that the person is under the influence of alcohol. The test is whether, because of drinking alcohol, the defendant’s mental or physical condition was significantly affected and the defendant was no longer able to operate a vehicle in a normal manner.

To avoid all these problems, and to avoid a Michigan DUI conviction, you might be tempted to install a breathalyzer apps on your phone.  But these apps have been shown to totally unreliable.

For example, according to Today News, a bunch of party goers had the breath tested by various breathalyzer apps and by the police.

Here are the results:

LouAnn: Breathometer 0.06, Alcohoot 0.162, BACtrack 0.21, police 0.175

Jeremy: Breathometer 0.05, Alcohoot 0.107, BACtrack 0.143, police 0.119

Tali: Breathometer 0.07, Alcohoot 0.078, BACtrack 0.1, police 0.08

This data does not prove, by itself, that the breathalyzer apps are wrong.  In fact, the only thing that can be concluded is that all the tests are unreliable, even the police test.  Thus, in order to know anything about these tests, and the respective accuracy of them, would be to test them against some known standard.

In real life the police don’t really do such a good job demonstrating that their tests are reliable. They just hope people, and most importantly judges and juries, will just assume that if the police are using them, they must be right.

The thing to take from all this is that no matter who is doing the testing, you can’t make a decision to drink and drive based on a breathalyzer phone app.  If you do, you might end up inside a jail cell, or worse yet, inside a body bag.

If you have been arrested in Michigan for DUI and took a breath test, talk with the attorneys at the Barone Defense Firm.  The consultation is free, but the advice might be priceless!

Call today for your FREE no obligation case review.



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Patrick Barone

Patrick Barone

Patrick T. Barone is the Founding Partner and CEO of The Barone Defense Firm with offices throughout Michigan. Mr. Barone is the author of two books on DUI defense including Michigan DUI Law: A Citizen's Guide and the well respected two volume treatise Defending Drinking Drivers (James Publishing),a chapter in Defending DUI Vehicular Homicide Cases, 2012 ed. (Aspatore Books), an adjunct professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and a graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College. Mr. Barone has an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell and since 2009 has been included in America’s Best Lawyers.

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