Breath and Blood Tests and DUI Arrests
Were You Required to Submit a Breath or Blood Test?
Under Arizona Statute §28-1321, a person gives consent to having their blood, urine, and other bodily substances tested when they get behind the wheel of a car. If an individual is pulled over by the police during a traffic stop, they technically have the right to refuse tests such as blood examination and breathalyzer tests. However, if the individual does refuse, they can automatically have their license suspended. The officer also has the right to obtain a warrant that would require the individual to take the tests.
Both blood and breath tests are used to determine the alcohol content level of a driver. Usually, an officer needs probable reason to stop someone, including reasonable suspicion of intoxication. The way they can determine if an individual is driving under the influence is through blood and breath tests. However, while these are fairly accurate, there can be errors made in the reading.
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The Breath Test
The breath test measures the alcohol level in your blood. If you consent to a breath test, you will be asked to blow into a machine that marks the alcohol level detected on the breath and translates it into the level of alcohol detected in your blood. While this machine gives an approximate BAC, there are factors that can skew the reading.
An experienced DUI attorney can help find errors if you believe your breath test produced inaccurate readings. Common breath test errors include:
- Calibration – The breathalyzer machine is highly sensitive and can pick up even the smallest amounts of alcohol and other elements. It is important these machines be properly maintained. If not, it can interfere with the readings.
- Pre-existing alcohol in the mouth – If someone used mouthwash or had a sip of alcohol, the machine will most likely register it. However, this does not automatically translate to intoxication.
- Extenuating factors – There are certain medical factors that can produce an incorrect reading of the breath test. For example, if an individual has diabetes, the machine can notice the high levels of acetone in the body that has nothing to do with alcohol.
Because humans created the breath test machine, it can have errors. Our DUI attorneys at MayesTelles PLLC can look to find errors in your breath tests in order to prove your innocence in the charges waged against you. That is why it is important you call us.
The Blood Test
Blood tests are generally considered more accurate than breath tests. In this test, a sample of blood is taken to measure the exact content of alcohol in a person’s blood stream. While a person has the right to initially refuse the test, a police offer may obtain a warrant to force them. While blood tests can show a good representation of a person’s BAC, it is not foolproof. There can be human errors that skew the results.
There are also civil liberties to consider when blood tests are administered. Not everyone can consent to a blood test. Medical issues such as hemophilia, phobias of needles, and religious convictions can all prevent an individual from having a blood test. However, if an officer forces the matter, they can be violating civil rights. This can all lead to having the DUI charges dropped.
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At MayesTelles PLLC, our DUI attorneys have nearly 100 years of collective experience representing the residents of Arizona. Our team has former prosecutors who understand the legal proceedings and can tap into the opposition’s thought process. We make ourselves available 24/7 because we know that DUI charges can occur at any time. We truly care about protecting your rights.
If you have been charged with a DUI because of faulty breath or blood tests, contact our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys today!