In Cheshire, breath testing machines are commonly used by law enforcement as a means of gathering evidence to be used against a person in criminal court to establish that the person was intoxicated by way of alcohol. To administer this test, the qualified officer will instruct the person to breathe into a tube attached to a machine, wherein the breath flows through a tube and passes through a light. You can learn more about this process here.
This test is based on the scientific principle known as Henry’s Law. Henry’s Law is defined as, “a mass of gas that dissolves in a definite volume of liquid which is directly proportional to the pressure of the gas provided that the gas does not react with the solvent.” This essentially means that, if a gas and liquid are confined in an enclosed space, the concentration of gas in the air is equal to what is in the liquid. This is known as Henry’s constant, and the ratio prescribed by law is 2100:1 because the concentration of alcohol in the average human body is approximately 2100 times as great as the concentration is with respect to the air.
Issues With Henry’s Law
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However, this is an approximation, and based on the average person, which does not account for the many different types of bodies, which can have a noticeable effect on these numbers, despite the law not recognizing this in the statute. Furthermore, body temperature, taking certain medications, and having medical issues like diabetes can interfere with the test’s results.
Another major sticking point with respect to breathalyzers and their reliability is the maintenance and calibration of the machine. An improper calibration of the device makes the results unreliable and therefore inadmissible as evidence.
For the results to be admissible, the prosecution will have to show that the results are reliable. To do this, they must show that the device was maintained in accordance with the general guidelines, like being properly maintained and checked at designated intervals for accuracy. Also, the officer administering the test must be certified to do so, and this officer is tasked with ensuring that the person had a clean airway when the test was administered, meaning they haven’t smoked or vomited prior and that there are two results obtained, within .02% of each other.
Breath Testing and Implied Consent
In Connecticut, every driver that operates a motor vehicle on a roadway has implicitly agreed to partake in breath testing if it is requested because of the implied consent law. Refusing to do this results in an automatic suspension through the DMV. However, declining to partake in a breathalyzer could result in the prosecution failing to obtain necessary evidence for criminal prosecution and is therefore a subjective call for the person requested to take the test to make. DUIs are serious charges, and demand adequate legal representation to obtain the best results possible. To speak with a Cheshire DUI defense lawyer on these matters, contact Lady DUI today.