DUI Evidence from Breath & Blood Tests

Get Help from Our Proven Scottsdale DUI Defense Attorney

It could happen to anyone. You go out for a few drinks with friends or to grab a beer after work with a coworker. The next thing you know, those dreaded red and blue lights are flashing in your rearview mirror. Even if you have barely had anything to drink and your BAC is below .08, you could still be arrested for drunk driving thanks to Arizona's strict DUI laws. If an officer has probable cause to believe your driving abilities are impaired due to any amount of alcohol in your system, you could be facing a DUI charge.

Law enforcement officers use multiple methods to determine a person's BAC, but the most reliable are chemical tests. There are three main tests that fall into this category: breath analysis, urine analysis, and blood analysis. Breath and blood tests are the most common for DUI cases and are frequently used by officers to secure reason to arrest and charge an individual.

Facing DUI charges due to blood or breath test results? Schedule a case evaluation with our DUI lawyer!

Understanding Breath Analysis

There is often much debt over which test is more accurate and produces the most verifiable results. Undeniably, the breath test can be affected by numerous factors, from whether or not you use mouth wash to when you last belched. While these may seem like silly issues, they can have a serious impact on the results of a breath test, pushing a person's BAC up to .08 on a reading, even though they may not actually have such a high amount of alcohol in their system.

A breath test often involves a portable breathalyzer that indirectly measures BAC by estimating the amount of alcohol on a person's breath. These machines use fuel cell science that works by technically burning the alcohol that passes through the device, generating an electric current that is considered a blood alcohol count.

However, these tests can be affected numerous issues, including:

  • Administration error
  • Incorrect calibration
  • Medical conditions
  • Body temperature
  • Smoking
  • Diet
  • Other factors

A small error could quickly spike a person's BAC, resulting in unfair and unjust charges.

How accurate are blood tests?

In comparison, blood tests are often considered much more accurate and reliable than breath tests. While some breath tests are administered at a police station, a majority are given on the side of the road where many outside factors can affect the results. However, blood tests must be taken at a hospital or police station, often making this the more accurate option.

A person's blood will be drawn and tested to determine the blood alcohol concentration in their body. People with diabetes, high blood ketones, or currently taking herbal supplements may have inaccurately higher readings, making the test results debatable in some cases. Overall though, blood tests will produce the most reliable results, so long as the sample is not contaminated.

Regardless of whether you took a breath or a blood test that produced an illegal BAC, your case is not over. All chemical tests can be challenged, so it is crucial that you call on our Scottsdale DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of Randall J. Craig to retain aggressive defense!