Alcohol breath test machines have the ability to land people in jail... but they often use technology that produces warped results.
Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers observe that the majority of California DUI arrests and prosecutions depend on evidence of a person's blood alcohol content (BAC). To produce this evidence, law enforcement agencies almost always use machines that convert a measurement of breath alcohol content into a BAC based on a variety of electromagnetic technologies.
One of the technologies commonly used for this purpose is called a fuel cell device. In the simplest terms, these devices produce a breath alcohol measurement by analyzing the reaction between a person's breath sample and a special chemical compound.
Scientists continue to indentify inherent problems with this process. First of all, fuel cell devices are susceptible to error because they can't typically screen out "radio frequency interference" (RFI) from surrounding electronic devices that warp results.
Second, fuel cell devices can only produce breath alcohol measurements that must then be enlarged in order to represent blood alcohol measurements. Because this process is based on multiple assumptions that do not always apply in particular cases, fuel cell devices may state that alcohol is present in a DUI suspect's system when it's really not... or they may produce readings that are falsely high.
Bottom-line: our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers have seen these errors lead to wrongful DUI arrests and charges. However, revealing them can "torpedo" the prosecution's most important evidence. That's why we analyze every case we take on to see if the weaknesses of fuel cell devices can benefit the California DUI defense we're building on a client's behalf.