Glendale Breath Tests
After a driver is stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence in Glendale, there are usually two types of breath tests that may be requested; a PAS test conducted in the field and a more accurate test conducted on a Breathalyzer machine. While DUI suspects in Glendale may alternately select to submit to blood testing, the breath test is typically the preferred method of testing in DUI arrests.
There are limitations to what a PAS device or a breathalyzer can reveal about a person's breath sample. Both devices are only capable of monitoring alcohol consumption, and would not be effective in determining whether the person being tested is under the influence of drugs. Additionally, both devices do not have the capability of distinguishing between male and female testers, who have been shown to process and metabolize alcohol differently.
There are specific standards that law enforcement in Glendale must follow in regards to how they conduct breath alcohol testing under Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations. These include the following:
- Devices that have been approved for use in California can only be used.
- Devices must be calibrated and maintained regularly and law enforcement agencies must keep records of these actions.
- Any person conducting a breath test must have received proper training.
- Before a suspect can be tested, he or she must be observed for 15 minutes to make sure they do not consume food or water, smoke or throw up (which can skew the results of the breath test)
- There must be two tests conducted and the results of each test must be within 0.02 percent of each other.
A variety of factors may have a significant impact on Glendale breath testing. A breathalyzer is designed to measure the alcohol content of air from the deep lungs. This is why officers instruct those tested to take forceful breaths into the device when testing. Some people are incapable of this due to medical conditions, like asthma or emphysema. As a result, these people may physically be unable to provide a suitable breath sample for testing. There are also instances where a DUI suspect is unconscious, making it impossible to obtain a breath sample.
Other medical conditions can also skew the results of the Glendale breath test. Someone who suffers from gastrointestinal reflux disease (also known as "GERD") may have alcohol in their stomach that constantly is being forced into their mouth and esophagus. The presence of mouth or esophageal alcohol can lead to highly elevated BAC readings. Other medical conditions like diabetes or hypoglycemia can lead to elevated ketone levels which sometimes cause false positives on breath testing devices. This is also true for people who are on a low-carb diet.
Another problem with Glendale breath testing is that the test only shows a person's blood alcohol content at the time of testing, and not what their BAC was when they were driving. When drinking, a person's BAC will continue to rise as their body absorbs the alcohol. That means that someone could legitimately have a blood alcohol content below 0.08 percent at the time of driving but provide a much higher test an hour later. In these cases, the assistance of a skilled Glendale DUI lawyer is critical in showing how a rising blood alcohol level may have led to a defendant's deceptively high BAC reading on the breath test. An attorney can also review the maintenance and calibration records of the testing device, as any inconsistencies could potentially skew the results of the resulting BAC reading.
If you are facing charges of DUI in Glendale, it is very important that you consult with an experienced Glendale DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Glendale DUI Attorney Michael Kraut is highly experienced at litigating DUI issues from all perspectives. Mr. Kraut is highly knowledgeable about the standards and requirements of DUI breath testing and knows how to effectively challenge results, even where the reading is above 0.08 percent. Mr. Kraut is highly respected in Glendale by prosecutors and law enforcement alike as a tough litigator who knows how to effectively fight DUI cases.
For more information about Glendale breath testing, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Glendale DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 450 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 600, Glendale, CA 91203. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 818-507-9123.