Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Breath Test Videos

Saw these great breath test videos on YouTube. I mentioned them on my other blog recently, but thought they deserved their own post. For those who believe in the Breathalyzer, these videos will give you something to think about.

The first video demonstrates the problem of mouth alcohol. I've seen this myself at a seminar. The individual swigs something with alcohol in his mouth (like Scope, or in this case I think it's Vodka) and spits it out. A few minutes later he blows into the machine and registers an outrageously high number.

The second video starts off similar -- an initial 0.00 BAC. Then the guy chews on Wonder Bread for 5 minutes, and he blows a 0.025 BAC. In other words, no alcohol at all and he's halfway to what some cops would ticket (improperly) for DWAI. I can only guess that the sugars and/or starches mix with the yeast and ferment quickly.

The moral of this story: Breath tests are unreliable. I've seen too many cases where the BAC doesn't fit the rest of the story.

We have a case going right now where our client blew a 0.17. That's close to falling-down drunk. The cop car had video, and the guy looks totally sober. Not to mention that he was going more than 30mph over the limit and handled the car well. He passed the One-Leg Stand and Walk-and-Turn tests.
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