Burbank Breath Tests
When law enforcement officers in Burbank conduct DUI stops, investigations and arrests, there are two types of breath tests that may be employed; an unofficial test using a PAS device in the field and the more reliable breath test using a stationary Breathalyzer machine. In the alternative, drivers can choose to provide a blood sample upon request, however the breath test is the less invasive, and thus more popular, means of chemical testing in Burbank.
The breath test can give an indication as to whether the driver has been drinking alcohol and what his or her blood alcohol level is at the time of testing. However, the breath test cannot provide other information, such as whether or not the driver is under the influence of drugs or whether the driver is a man or woman, who physically metabolize alcohol differently.
When conducting breath alcohol testing, there are specific standards to which Burbank law enforcement personnel must strictly adhere. These include the following:
- The breath testing device must be one that is approved for use in California.
- All breath testing devices must undergo regularly scheduled maintenance and calibration and records of these actions must be kept by the law enforcement agency.
- Any officer or other personnel who operates the breath testing device must have received the proper training.
- A testing subject must be observed uninterrupted for 15 minutes before any test to make sure he or she does not eat, drink, smoke, throw up, or do anything else that would potentially affect test results.
- Two breath samples must be analyzed and the results of each test cannot differ by more than 0.02 percent.
The results of breath testing in Burbank can be affected by a number of factors, including a variety of physical and medical conditions of the test subject. A Breathalyzer works by analyzing the alcohol content of air from the deep lungs. In order to ensure that this air is entering the testing device, the officer conducting the test typically instructs the subject to blow forcefully. Certain conditions, such as asthma and emphysema, would limit the subject's ability to provide a sufficient breath sample. There also may be situations where obtaining a breath sample from a DUI suspect is simply not feasible, like when the individual is passed out or injured.
Breath testing in Burbank can also be affected by other medical conditions common to many people. A person who suffers from gastrointestinal reflux disease (also called "GERD") experiences constant regurgitation of stomach contents into the mouth and esophagus. If alcohol in the stomach is present in the esophagus or mouth when the subject is testing, the results of the breath test will be disproportionately high. Other conditions and diseases, like diabetes and hypoglycemia causes elevated ketone levels. In some devices, these high ketone levels can be misread as alcohol and lead to false positives. This can also happen to people who are adhering to a low carbohydrate diet.
When evaluating breath test results, it is important to remember that they can only indicate a person's blood alcohol content at the time of testing, and not necessarily what the BAC was at the time of driving. When a person drinks alcohol, their BAC will rise and fall as the alcohol enters and is broken down by the body. This means that a person can be driving with a BAC under 0.08 percent (the legal limit) but can test over the limit due to a rising blood alcohol level. A skilled Burbank DUI lawyer can carefully analyze PAS and Breathalyzer results, along with calibration and maintenance records, in contesting the results of the breath alcohol test.
If you have been charged with a DUI offense in the Burbank area, it is critical that you speak with an effective Burbank DUI Attorney right away. Burbank DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who is highly adept at fighting breath test results, even when they show a BAC above the legal limit. Mr. Kraut has had tremendous success in litigating issues connected to chemical testing and fights hard for his clients who are charged with DUI offenses in Burbank.
For more information about Burbank breath testing, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Burbank DUI Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 2600 West Olive Avenue, 5th Floor, Burbank, CA 91505. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 818-563-9810.