Colorado Breathalyzer Test
Various types of breath testing machines (commonly called "Breathalyzers") are used to measure a person's blood alcohol content (BAC) based on indirectly measuring a sample of breath. These tests are the most commonly used techniques to establish BAC. However, breath testing machines are often inaccurate and your Colorado DUI lawyer can help you benefit from these inaccuracies.
There are only two methods of measuring BAC that are admissible in Colorado at trial: blood or breath. The small handheld PBTs (Portable Breath Tests) that law enforcement officers use in the field are not admissible because Colorado courts have decided that such units are not accurate enough. You do not have to submit to the PBT, and we recommend that you do not. If arrested, the police officer will then ask you to submit to a required blood or breath test at the police station or a hospital under Colorado's Expressed Consent Law. If you do not submit to the large desktop testing machine (see the Intoxilyzer 5000 above), or to a blood test, you will most likely lose your license for a year. As of July 2010, your sentence for a refusal will include some jail time, even for a first-time offense. We recommend submitting to the breath test at the Colorado police station if the officer requests that you take one.
False BAC Readings
BAC false readings can and often do occur. For example, cough syrup, mouth washes and breath sprays can produce false readings. Chemicals present in a person's body that resemble ethyl alcohol can also influence the Colorado BAC test result. Modern machines have attempted to control these problems, but their reliability is questionable.
Even body temperature can cause a false BAC reading. These machines are calibrated as if each subject blowing into the machine possesses a certain body temperature. However, scientific evidence has shown that any subject's body temperature varies several degrees during any given day, (e.g., depending on the time of day and the level of emotional and/or physical stress the subject is under) and a sick subject's body temperature could be elevated as a result of a fever.
These Colorado breath testing machines are complicated and require a certain level of maintenance to ensure they operate properly. Further, Colorado police officers are not always properly trained or informed about the blood alcohol testing machines. They also sometimes bypass or ignore important protocols that are put in place to control some of the environmental and physiological variables that can produce inaccurate test results.
You and your Colorado DUI lawyer have the right to review the calibration records for the machine that was used in your case. An experienced Colorado DUI /DWAI attorney can help in determining if a defense can be made on the basis of poor calibration or inaccurate operation.
If your BAC result is above the legal limit, the attorneys at O'Malley Law Office, P.C., are well versed in looking into every possibility that may help you win your case. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.