Breath Testing

One of the first things that a police officer may do if they suspect that you are driving under the influence of alcohol is request that you take a breath test. There are pros and cons to taking the breath test, which we explore on this page. For further assistance when it comes to breath tests and DUIs, contact our office.


In Guilford, once one is arrested for DUI, the police will ask the suspect to take a Guilford breathalyzer test, known as a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. This test measures the blood alcohol concentration in the person’s system. To take this test, the person will be asked to blow through a mouthpiece wherein the breath travels through the device and gives a reading. Learn more about the Guilford breathalyzer test and what to do if you are asked to take one or if you have taken one and the results are being used against you.

The Science Behind the Guilford Breathalyzer

The BAC test is based on the science 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 doesn’t react with the solvent.” This means that the air above a liquid, in a confined space, will be equal proportionally to the liquid as it relates to chemical make-up.

Henry’s constant is the ratio of 2100:1, the concentration of alcohol being 2100 times greater in the air. This does present some problems because this number may be affected by a person’s gender, body type, size, and other physical factors.This results in a .03% error inherent in the process itself. This is obviously quite critical when dealing with numbers as low as .04% for CDL drivers and .08% for regular drivers.

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Potential Errors

There are other elements that affect this reading as well, such a body temperature, as this greatly impacts the results because as the body increases or decreases in temperature, there is an effect on alcohol percent in the blood. Other possible issues arise due to diabetes, sickness, and prescribed medications.

In addition, these are technological machines, and all technological machines have inherent errors. This is why an attorney can be so effective in this area of law. A Guilford DUI defense attorney will know how to challenge the Guilford breathalyzer, and other evidence obtained.

Common defenses include poor maintenance of the machines or improper calibration of the machine. This is because there any many rules and guidelines that must be followed for a test to be deemed credible, including that the BAC must be properly calibrated and maintained, and the Guilford breathalyzer must be done by one who is trained to do so. Officers must make sure the person has clean breath and that two measurements are taken within .02% of each other to ensure accuracy. Failure to do any of these things may result in an inaccurate reading.

Although Connecticut has an implied consent law, it does not apply to the criminal aspect of the case. It only pertains to the DMV aspect of the case. Implied consent is the theory that anyone who drives on a Connecticut road has implicitly consented to take a BAC test and the DMV punishes refusals, the same way it does failures, through a license suspension.

But, if you do not take the BAC test, it may deprive the prosecution of evidence for the criminal matter, and as such, must be considered by the person in the situation, ideally with the help of their lawyer. DUIs can be scary and confusing, and it is important to have adequate legal counsel for such times. To speak with a Guilford DUI defense lawyer today, contact Lady DUI.

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