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Tag Archives: breathalyzer

Felony DUI Law Coming to Colorado?

Last year, Senate Democrats in Colorado killed a bill that would have made repeat DUI offenses a felony offense in Colorado, much to the surprise and chagrin of the proposed law’s supporters. But now a Weld County state representative is trying again, with a new bill that, if passed, would classify a charged driver’s third DUI in seven years as a class 4 felony.  A class 4 felony carries a 2-6 year prison sentence followed by a mandatory 5 year period of parole.  The ... Read More »

The Oldest Question: Do You take a Test?

Well, it may not be the oldest question, but it may be the most important. Since the 1940’s and the onset of cheap blood alcohol testing, it is one that lawyers and defendants must initially face following a DWI arrest. Should you or shouldn’t you take the test? The answer to this, like everything else in law, is it depends. Like predicting the weather, the answer to this question turns on a variety of factors. While much of what I ... Read More »

The Unseen Risks of “One for the Road”

One evening at a restaurant, Martha shares a bottle of wine with a friend.  She nurses one glass over a one-hour dinner.  Nearing the end, another glass is poured from the bottle and she finishes this.  The two friends then order an after-dinner drink.  Noting the time, Martha quickly finishes the drink and leaves.  She is stopped by the police one block from the restaurant.  After questioning and field sobriety tests, she is taken to a police station and tested on a breathalyzer.  The machine shows ... Read More »

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 ... Read More »

Breath Alcohol Doesn’t Exist!

An essential fundamental of experimental science is that if something can’t be measured, it does not exist. One noteworthy scientist, Mr. William H. George, phrased it this way: “[S]cience is measurement. If I cannot make measurements, I cannot study a problem scientifically.”[i] Understanding this primary tenant, a follow-up question might be; how precise must a measurement be in order to study something scientifically, and furthermore, if the thing being studied is not measured precisely, then does it exist at all?  ... Read More »

Breathalyzers and the “Mouth Alcohol” Problem

One of the most common causes of falsely high breathalyzer readings in DUI cases 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 DUI suspect’s blood, rather ... Read More »

New Boating Under the Influence Law in Washington

Effective July 28, 2013, a newly-revised Boating Under the Influence (BUI)  law came into effect in the State of Washington.  Penalties were raised to that of a gross misdemeanor instead of a simple misdemeanor.  There still is no mandatory minimum jail term or fine.  A refusal to provide a breath sample is not admissible at the trial, however a boater can be subjected to a $1000 civil fine for refusing a test.  This legislation also authorizes search warrants for blood ... Read More »

Breath Tests 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 »

Laws requiring breathalyzers in the cars of DUI offenders has reached 18 states and counting

Maine is the newest state to propose a bill that would allow first time and habitual DUI offenders to cut down on their license suspensions by having a breathalyzer installed in their vehicles. The breathalyzer, also known as the ignition interlock device (IID), is a device wired to a vehicle’s ignition that requires a breath sample from the driver before the engine will start. A photo of the driver is taken while the sample is being given and transmitted to ... 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 »