Articles Posted in Breathalyzer

The most common type of chemical test performed by police in Arizona DUI cases is breath testing. Breath testing measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath and converts the figure to blood-alcohol content. Police prefer breath testing in many cases because it is faster and less expensive than blood or urine testing.

Practically speaking, absent physical coercion, breath testing cannot be performed without a driver’s consent. However, under Arizona’s implied consent statute, any motorist who “operates a motor vehicle in this state gives consent … to tests of the person’s blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance for the purpose of determining alcohol concentration or drug content” if they are arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Thus, while a motorist can physically refuse to provide a sample, they do not have the legal right to do so. Of course, to rely on the implied consent statute, police must provide a defendant with their rights and the consequences of refusal.

What Happens When Police Don’t Follow the Law?

Generally speaking, when police obtain evidence obtained through improper, illegal, or unconstitutional means, that evidence must be suppressed. This concept is referred to as the exclusionary rule, and is a judicially-created doctrine to deter improper police conduct. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has held that when a defendant’s blood was taken without a warrant or his consent, the blood-test results were inadmissible. The Court based its holding on the inherent privacy interest a person has in their blood and the intrusive means of obtaining a blood sample. However, in a subsequent case, the Court distinguished between taking a defendant’s blood and using a breath sample. This left an open question regarding the admissibility of breath-test evidence that was obtained in violation of the implied consent statute.

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When you're charged with drunk driving, it can have a major impact on your life. Simply getting to and from work may become a major hassle. That's why it's important to speak with a DUI defense lawyer familiar with Phoenix and Arizona drunk driving laws. An attorney's experience with DUI cases can be crucial for you as you attempt to get charges dropped.

The fact of the matter is that there are many potential flaws when a police officer measures sobriety. We have talked about DUI breath test problems and false positives many times. Right now, we want to address a popular topic about breathalyzer tests. Some people say that using mouthwash can cause you to fail a breathalyzer. Let's look into the issue in more detail.

How a Breathalyzer Works

A breathalyzer is a device that law enforcement uses to measure the amount of alcohol on a driver's breath. The breathalyzer works in a simple fashion. Drivers are asked to blow into a straw attached to the breathalyzer machine. The breath is analyzed and a read of alcohol content is provided to law enforcement. This is one of the ways that police can assess intoxication.

There are flaws with breath testing, however, and a Phoenix DUI defense attorney can help address them. Let's consider the problems with breath tests and then see whether or not you should refuse a breathalyzer test from a police officer.

Problems with Breath Tests to Assess Sobriety

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