If you find yourself facing a DWI charge in Louisiana, it’s really important to have a solid understanding of the various types of breathalyzer tests that may be used to evaluate your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). As you search for a trusted DWI attorney in New Orleans or Metairie, LA, it’s great to be informed about the different breathalyzer machines employed by law enforcement agencies. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the common types of breathalyzer tests used in DWI cases and shed light on how they work. By gaining insights into these tests, you’ll be better equipped to navigate your legal situation and make informed decisions.
The Standard Breathalyzer Test
The standard breathalyzer test is widely utilized by law enforcement agencies across the country. This test uses a handheld device known as an evidentiary breath testing instrument (EBTI) or preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) device. These devices are portable and commonly used during traffic stops to provide an initial indication of intoxication.
When you blow into an EBTI or PAS device, it measures the alcohol content present in your exhaled breath. This measurement is then converted into an estimated BAC level, which is used as evidence against you in a DWI case if it exceeds the legal limit.
It’s important to note that while these preliminary devices can provide immediate results, they are not always admissible as evidence in court. However, they play a crucial role in establishing probable cause for arrest and may lead to further testing with more accurate instruments.
Evidentiary Breath Testing Machines
Once arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, you may be subjected to additional evidentiary breath testing using more sophisticated machines. These devices are designed to meet strict standards set by state laws and are considered more reliable for presenting evidence in court.
One commonly used evidentiary breath testing machine is the Intoxilyzer 8000. This device functions by utilizing infrared spectroscopy to measure the concentration of alcohol molecules present in the breath sample provided. The machine emits infrared lights that are absorbed by the alcohol molecules, and the resulting change in light absorption allows for an estimation of BAC.
The Intoxilyzer 8000 is a highly regulated and approved device, and its results are generally considered accurate and admissible in court. However, it’s important to note that challenges can still be made regarding calibration, maintenance records, or operator errors during testing.
Breathalyzer BAC DataMaster
Another widely recognized evidentiary breath testing machine is the Breathalyzer BAC DataMaster. This device employs fuel cell technology to analyze a breath sample for alcohol content. When you blow into the machine, any alcohol present causes a chemical reaction within the fuel cell that generates an electrical current proportional to your BAC.
The Breathalyzer BAC DataMaster provides quick and reliable results, making it a popular choice among law enforcement agencies across Louisiana. As with other breathalyzer tests, proper calibration and maintenance are crucial to ensure accurate readings.
Challenging Breathalyzer Test Results
While breathalyzer test results can be influential in DWI cases, it’s essential to remember that they are not infallible. Various factors can impact the accuracy of these tests, including calibration errors, improper administration, or medical conditions affecting breath samples.
As an experienced DWI attorney, we thoroughly analyze the circumstances surrounding your arrest and explore all possible avenues for building a strong defense. Part of this is challenging the breathalyzer results. This includes examining the maintenance records of the machines used, questioning operator training and certification, or disputing the chain of custody for your breath samples. If you failed a breathalyzer test and are now looking for guidance on how to fight your DWI in Orleans or Jefferson Parish give us a call at 504-434-7000.