If you get pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence of
alcohol, a police officer may use a breathalyzer in order to determine
your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. It’s important to understand
that its reading is based on how much alcohol is contained in a portion
of exhaled air, as opposed to how much alcohol is in the blood.
In order to calculate the BAC from that exhaled air, the BAC in the air
is typically multiplied by the “partition coefficient” or
“partition ratio,” which is the number 2,100. The number is
used since the lung air exhaled by an “average” individual
often contains 1/2100th the amount of alcohol of an equal blood volume. However, the value calculated
can be drastically changed based on particular factors, such as time,
body temperature, as well as the rate of respiration, making these calculations
The following are other factors which can potentially cause errors:
Human Error – Police officers are required to be trained and experienced in
administering breathalyzer tests. They must understand the proper conditions
and protocols in order to determine an accurate reading.
Calibration – Like any other machine which produces measurements, breathalyzers must
be periodically calibrated and their batteries must be replaced every
so often to maintain accuracy.
Alcohol-Containing Substances – False positives can occur due to substances which contain alcohol.
This includes toothpaste, mouthwash, breath fresheners, toothache medicines,
and even vomit.
Consistency – Breath tests need to be taken multiple times in order to produce
an accurate result.
Environment – False results can occur within the presence of potent chemicals,
including varnish, paint fumes, adhesives, and plastics.
If you have been arrested for a
Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella can thoroughly investigate
your case and determine if the breathalyzer test results are inaccurate.
We have what it takes to successfully challenge breathalyzers and obtain
the outcome you desire.
our Milwaukee criminal attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella
and schedule your
complimentary consultation today.