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Tag Archives: partition ratio

Can Body Temperature Affect Breath Test Results?

Law enforcement DUI investigation techniques depend largely upon the fictitious premise that all humans are physiologically identical. Without that presumption, field sobriety and breath alcohol tests would not be possible. There are, of course, many examples of physiological differences — from person to person and within one person from moment to moment — which will directly alter breath or blood alcohol testing in DUI investigations. A few examples are diabetes, GERD (acid reflux), anemia — even sex and race create ... Read More »

Prosecutors Attempt to Limit Defenses

What started as a seemingly routine and innocuous motion by the prosecutors in the Tucson City Court has now grown into a major breath-testing battle which will be played out in the Arizona Supreme Court and will affect the admissibility of every breath test in Arizona. Estimated breath test results are subject to many variables–which is why they are “estimates” and not hard numbers. Variables can be divided into two major categories: Machine Variables and Human Variables. Machine Variables are ... Read More »

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 »