Michael A. Ferraro, Esq., P.C.
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What is a breath alcohol content test?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | DWI defense |

The police have the right to pull over drivers who are acting suspiciously. In most cases, a driver may be pulled over because they may seem drunk. This may happen if the driver is running red lights, swerving between lanes or braking inconsistently. 

During a traffic stop, the police will take several measures to collect evidence and determine the status of a driver. The police may start by questioning drivers, such as if they were drinking, where they were going or if they understand why they were pulled over.

The police may then ask the driver to do a sobriety test. A driver may have to do a standardized field sobriety test, which is a kind of physical examination. But, this kind of test may not be the most accurate. Many drivers are asked to take breath tests. A breath test is a small machine that evaluates a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), which is the alcohol that can be found in the body. The most commonly known device like this is called a “Breathalyzer.”

Are breath tests accurate? 

A breath test can be administered during traffic stops. Breath tests often have a more accurate reading than urine or blood tests. However, the accuracy of breath tests can be altered by a person’s body temperature, the use of drugs and the type of drink.

Can you trick breath tests?

Some people believe that breath tests can be tricked to give inaccurate results. The most common belief is that sucking on a penny would cause a breath test to read impossibly high. Or, someone may try to drink coffee to hide the effects of alcohol. Both of these beliefs are just myths. 

Can you refuse a breath test?

Many drivers want to know if they are legally required to take breath tests. Refusal triggers an automatic license suspension and fine which will remain on your record even if you are later acquitted of drunk driving.

It can help drivers to learn about their legal rights when asked to take breath tests. If a driver believes their rights were violated during a traffic stop, then they may have means to a defense.