FAQs about the Blood Alcohol Concentration Test (BAC)

FAQs about the Blood Alcohol Concentration Test (BAC) Thomas Hogan Law OfficeWhen caught on suspicion of a DUI, here are  some questions that most people ask: What is a breath analyzer? What are the consequences in refusing a  breath analyzer test,? What factors can affect the results of a breath analyzer test.

When is a driver subject to a breath analyzer test?

When the police officer stops your for DUI/DWI, he or she will observe you for signs of intoxication such as reddish eyes, lack of co-ordination, slurred speech and breath of alcohol. Once he or she finds any signs of intoxication, you will be asked to perform a few field sobriety tests to determine if you are intoxicated. If you fail these tests or refuse to take these tests, the officer can advise you to take the breath analyzer test.

Can I refuse a breath analyzer test?

The breath analyzer test is optional. You can politely refuse to take the test. However in many states a refusal will result in the suspension of your driving privileges. If you refuse, the officer can ask you to take a chemical test.

How does the breath analyzer work?

You must blow into the breath analyzer as instructed by the police officer. The breath analyzer will then indicate your blood alcohol concentration level. In a breath analyzer, alcohol reacts with an orange solution of potassium dichromate to produce a green solution of chromic sulfate. More alcohol produces a greater color change. The breath analyzer measure this color change and converts this measurement into an amount of breath in the blood. The device must meet the specifications required by the National Highway Transport Safety Agency. The officer administering the test must ensure that the suspect driver has not taken anything into his or her mouth for 20 minutes before the test. The suspect driver must be informed that a refusal will result in suspension of his or her driver’s license.

What happens if I fail the breath analyzer test?

If you fail the breath analyzer test, the officer will ask you to undergo a chemical test. The chemical test could be a urine test or a blood test depending on your state law. You cannot refuse a chemical test. All 50 states impose  implied consent laws that state that any person with a driver’s license has given implied consent to subject himself or herself to a chemical test for DUI.

Can I challenge the results of a breath analyzer test?

You can challenge the result of the breath analyzer test in a court of law. The results of a breath analyzer test are not fool proof. Many factors can influence the results of a breath analyzer test.

What are the factors that can affect the results of a breath analyzer test?

The results of the breath analyzer test can be affected by many factors. First of all the device must be properly calibrated and maintained. Poor maintenance can result in wrong readings. The training of the officer in administering the test is also a factor that can affect the result. The officer must be properly trained to administer the test.

Can I fail the breath analyzer test due to health reasons?

You will be required to blow into the device to enable the device to show an accurate reading. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from blowing sufficiently hard into the device, the device will give an incorrect reading.

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