Getting pulled over for suspicion of DUI is frightening. If you haven’t had a single drop of alcohol, you may be safe to agree to a Blood Alcohol Content test. Then again, you may not. This is why, even though you may be treated as if you have just admitted guilt and you may feel as if you are admitting guilt, it makes good sense to refuse a BAC breath test. You can better understand why when you better understand how a Breathalyzer works in the first place.
Much like Kleenex, Q-tips and Cokes, the Breathalyzer is simply the early name for one such device for testing BAC on breath and may not be the actual device used. However, it has become an accepted term of reference. But here is where the breath-testing device may be flawed. The first assumption the device makes is that all the air measured comes from the lungs of the tested subject. Therefore it does not account for air coming from the subject’s mouth or esophagus at the time of the exhalation.
Moreover, alcohol can linger in the mouth because of gastric reflux disorder or prior vomiting. It can adhere to dental work and is often included in mouthwashes, mints and other oral-hygiene products commonly used while or before driving. These traces of alcohol can sometimes make a difference on a breath test and can definitely make a difference on your future.
There is also a bell curve when it comes to your level of intoxication as indicated in the blood. Since alcohol does not absorb directly into the subject’s blood stream, your BAC at the time you drove could be significantly lower than it may be by the time you are administered a sobriety test. Alternatively, it could be argued you are on the other end of the bell curve and that your BAC was likely higher when you were driving and the reading, once administered, was a tapered off take on your BAC.
It is always the duty of those sticking you with charges to prove you were drunk at the time you were operating a motor vehicle. Your Florida criminal defense attorney should be well-versed in alcohol-related driving charges and can help you fight a high BAC if you did decide to blow.