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What is a breath alcohol content test?

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2023 | Criminal Law |

A sobriety test is a tool the police can use to evaluate whether a driver is drunk. Many police officers will use a preliminary field sobriety test, which is a kind of physical examination. However, field sobriety tests don’t have a scoring system and are judged to the best ability of the police. As a result, these tests may not be the most accurate. 

Other kinds of tests that may be used are urine and blood tests. These tests are typically done at a hospital or police station and use urine and blood to evaluate the blood alcohol content (BAC) in the body. Again, these tests may not be the most preferred because results can vary. 

One of the most popular and accurate tests is a breathalyzer. Here’s what you should know:

How do breathalyzers work?

A breathalyzer is a small, portable device that the police can use during traffic stops. A driver will be asked to breathe into a small port of the breathalyzer. After blowing into the device, the machine should give an accurate reading of the driver’s BAC. If the BAC reading is above the legal limit, then the driver may be violating the law.

Can you trick breathalyzers?

Breathalyzers have been used for years. As a result, misinformation often causes people to make risky decisions that lead to criminal charges. 

One of the biggest myths about breathalyzers is that they can be tricked by sucking on a penny. According to the prevailing theory, the penny should cause the breath test to make an impossible BAC reading. However, pennies don’t do anything to breathalyzers. 

Should you refuse breath tests?

Many people ask whether they should refuse breath tests. Refusing a breath test pre-arrest could give evidence that a driver is drunk and is a violation of implied consent laws. This refusal could lead to an arrest and criminal charges. It may be best to reach out for legal help to understand your rights during traffic stops. 

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