Author Topic: The Breathalyzer  (Read 2655 times)

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Online daniel1948

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2017, 09:20:44 AM »
Again, that's why I think multiple layers of tests is a good idea.  What are the odds someone hasn't been drinking, but:

1. Gets pulled over for something else or driving erratically.
2. Gives the officer a reason to suspect they are intoxicated.
3. Has a condition that causes them to fail HGN.
4. Is unable to perform a walk and turn.
5. And gives a false positive on a breathalyzer test.

I guess that is kind of hard to argue with but I still think the breathalyzer is the most important component.

The breathalyzer is only the most important component if the cop gives it undue weight after the driver explains the specific medical condition that creates a false positive. If you were pulled over for erratic driving, your driving will be the most important component. If it's a random stop without specific cause, or a checkpoint where everyone is being stopped, then the absence of alcohol on your breath will likely trump a breathalyzer positive once you explain your medical condition, unless the cop is a jerk.
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Offline Steinberi24

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2018, 12:26:48 AM »
Nice post! My friend just told me about a breathalyser that we can keep with ourselves and check before driving. I was once caught and got pressed DUI charges. I took help of a very good DUI attorney Los Angeles and got my punishment reduced.

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« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 11:08:25 AM by TheIrreverend »

Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2018, 07:20:45 AM »
Nice post! My friend just told me about a breathalyser that we can keep with ourselves and check before driving. I was once caught and got pressed DUI charges. I took help of a very good DUI attorney Los Angeles and got my punishment reduced.
Was it just unfortunate that you mirrors a spammer's style?
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 11:12:03 AM by TheIrreverend »
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Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2018, 07:22:33 AM »
Again, that's why I think multiple layers of tests is a good idea.  What are the odds someone hasn't been drinking, but:

1. Gets pulled over for something else or driving erratically.
2. Gives the officer a reason to suspect they are intoxicated.
3. Has a condition that causes them to fail HGN.
4. Is unable to perform a walk and turn.
5. And gives a false positive on a breathalyzer test.

I guess that is kind of hard to argue with but I still think the breathalyzer is the most important component.

The breathalyzer is only the most important component if the cop gives it undue weight after the driver explains the specific medical condition that creates a false positive. If you were pulled over for erratic driving, your driving will be the most important component. If it's a random stop without specific cause, or a checkpoint where everyone is being stopped, then the absence of alcohol on your breath will likely trump a breathalyzer positive once you explain your medical condition, unless the cop is a jerk.
The advent of video cameras has reduced the reliance on breathalyzers, they mainly put the cherry on top these days.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2018, 05:13:39 PM »
Don’t they usually do blood tests after arrest?
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Online 2397

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2018, 07:01:10 PM »
Don’t they usually do blood tests after arrest?

That's what I thought, that the breathalyzer is just a preliminary test and not admissible in court.

Offline Fast Eddie B

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2018, 07:08:57 PM »
In Florida when I worked there, the “Breathalyzer” we used at the station utilized the “Indium Crimper” method. The test subject blew into a machine, which collected his or her breath in a metal tube crimped into three samples. One went to the lab, one was available to the defendant if they requested, I think the third was a backup. The results were definitely usable in court.

Blood was rarely drawn, usually in serious accidents with injuries.

A portable Breathalyzer could only be utilized to confirm probable cause for the arrest. I don’t recall ever being issued one.

Edited to add: scrolling back I seem to have mentioned this already.

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2018, 12:13:31 AM »
Don’t they usually do blood tests after arrest?

In my state, with my agency they usually only do a blood test if someone has been transported to the hospital.  They are able to refuse that, just like the breathalyzer, unless there was a fatality involved in the accident in which case they have to submit to a blood test if they were the at fault driver.

Don’t they usually do blood tests after arrest?

That's what I thought, that the breathalyzer is just a preliminary test and not admissible in court.

There's a portable breathalyzer test which is usually administered roadside and is inadmissible (I don't believe it's probable cause for an arrest on its own either) and the intoximeter at the station which is definitely admissible.  Police don't need any of those test results to arrest someone for DUI though (and indeed, a driver can refuse all sobriety tests if they choose) as they can rely on other clues such as how they were driving, any odor of alcohol, any open containers in the vehicle, statements by the driver, and so on.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 12:17:52 AM by Eternally Learning »

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #38 on: November 15, 2018, 07:59:17 AM »
Most police can't draw blood.  You have to have a medical license to draw blood (usually a nurse or a phlebotomist).  There are officers who are trained as phlebotomists who can draw blood, but that's usually only in larger cities.


Remember that nurse in Utah that was arrested for not allowing an officer to draw blood? The patient was unconscious and since she couldn't get consent, she refused to let him draw the blood (as per hospital policy and the law).  The cop physically dragged her outside in cuffs for blocking him.  She was later awarded half a mil for her troubles.


Anyway, you can always refuse any medical procedure...unless you are under arrest.  Even if you are badly injured, and they draw blood for type and cross; that blood cannot be used for any other purposes without your consent.  If they have enough evidence to arrest, then they can arrest you and then draw the blood to be used in court.  However, if it is later revealed that they didn't have enough evidence without the blood, that can be thrown out.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #39 on: November 15, 2018, 10:47:17 AM »
https://reason.com/blog/2018/11/14/nj-drunken-driving-cases-may-be-thrown?fbclid=IwAR16PWpnApAG_oGVjzfurRjhxpFnLYDcQREv6BsxYwc3feqlOKCf7B3pC40

Quote
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that breathalyzer evidence from more than 20,000 drunk driving cases is inadmissable due to a calibration error.

For seven years, State Police Sgt. Marc Dennis was in charge of calibrating Alcotest machines in five counties. The machines were used to test drivers' blood alcohol content. In 2016, Dennis was charged with falsifying records because he did not use a thermometer to check that the control solution used for calibration was at body temperature.

The machines the cops use may be different but for years I watched them calibrate the machines in bars that I worked at (employees were required to hand in their keys then blow under the limit if they wanted them returned) The process seemed to take a long time while the guy used a glass bong like device to blow air through a clear liquid into the machine which I assumed was alcohol. I also remember him checking the temp of the liquid. I'm curious why temperature maters to the calibration.

 If the calibration was off something as light as a menthol cigarette would set it off.  For years I watched strippers try to fool that thing, some of them were able to pull it off with assorted tricks.
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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #40 on: November 15, 2018, 10:53:32 AM »
I know that the evaporation of alcohol (like other liquids) is effected by temperatures.  I know it boils at a lower temperature than water, for instance (that's one way to make non-alcoholic beer) and it condenses at a different temperature (making whisky possible).  It might have something to do with that.
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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #41 on: November 15, 2018, 10:57:10 AM »
Also, sorry, when using a refractometer to check specific gravity you have to adjust for temperature as well.  It has something to do with the refraction of light through the liquid (checking for amount of sugar in the liquid) is different based on temperature of the liquid.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #42 on: November 15, 2018, 06:31:15 PM »
I do love the word "phlebotomist", but "blood nurse" sounds more metal.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #43 on: November 15, 2018, 07:24:17 PM »
more metal than ‘vein cutter’?
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Re: The Breathalyzer
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2018, 11:14:07 AM »
I listen to the Truth and Justice podcast

The host was on a jury with a DWI case - He was an alternate.
A woman was pulled over for DWI and she took the breathalyzer.
She had some alcohol in her system but she was a fair amount below the legal limit.
She was still charged ith DWI.

The host was dismissed as an alternate.
He found out later that she had been convicted.
Apparently if a cop just says you are guilty, you are guilty?
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