How can a DUI attorney attack the breathalyzer results?
Lawrence Taylor discusses all the different factors, besides just drinking alcohol, which can contribute to a breath machines’ detection of blood alcohol in a person. There are several different factors that DUI attorneys can attack in order to question the measurement that the breath machine provides. For example, the breath machine assumes that every person that blows into the machine is average. Obviously all people are not the same and a person’s gender and race effect how their body reacts to alcohol. People fail to realize that the breath machines do not measure alcohol; they detect a group of chemicals in a compound and assume its alcohol. There are all types of compounds that can contribute to the detection of blood alcohol by the breath machine, including a person having acid reflux, having diabetes, a person who just painted a house and breathed in some of the paint, or a person who just got done filling their car with gasoline. All of these circumstances produce compounds that the breath machine assumes is alcohol when providing a blood alcohol measurement.
Richard Jacobs (RJ): You spoke about not being the average human being, you know Chinese, Female, and dead. . .
Lawrence Taylor (LT): Right.
RJ: How does that help a good, knowledgeable DUI attorney, defend their clients more effectively?
LT: Well, yeah, we did touch on that and I mentioned Don Nichols and his argument, which I thought was terrific because it is so accurate. But, the DUI field is just ripe with all kinds of examples of this average man, they have to. For example, the average man is also a woman.
LT: Well, men and women have different, not only different metabolism rates, but they actually have, women for example have chemicals in their system that causes alcohol to be processed a little differently than we do . . .
LT: gives them different kind of tolerance, for example, generally speaking. Racially, lots of studies have indicated different races have different levels of tolerance to alcohol, generally on average, for example.
LT: These are all factors. Absorption, elimination, and tolerance we’ve talked about. Medical conditions, if you have GERD, GERD condition.
RJ: Acid reflux.
LT: Acid reflux. If you have diabetes. If you have been on a heavy diet, a pretty severe diet. These things are all going to create, for example, acid aldehyde or acetone on your breath, which the machine is going to read as alcohol. Machines don’t read alcohol, by the way, the breath machines, people don’t realize that, no. They detect a group of chemicals in the compound and assume it is alcohol.
LT: And, in fact, there are all kinds of compounds. Acetone or acid aldehyde are common. Toluene, which is glue, if you smelled glue, if you were painting a house, if you were pumping gasoline in your car; these all contain compounds, that have what the machine detects with their infrared analysis. So, you can go all day with this stuff.