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Illinois DUI: Is the breath test really reliable?

Many people believe that the breath test is scientific in its design but actually there appears to be nothing scientific about it.
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    December 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Illinois DUI: Is the breath test really reliable?

Being accused of drunk driving is a serious matter in Chicago. If convicted, a person faces several penalties. One of those penalties is jail time and even for a first DUI offense, a person could be incarcerated for a month, creating issues with employment and meeting one's financial responsibilities.

It is important, therefore, for people to make sure that the evidence being used against them is accurate and fair, especially the breath test. The breath test is often used to prove that someone's blood alcohol content is above the legal limit. However, in the past couple of years, the breath test has come under criticism from several sources.

Questioning its legitimacy

According to the National Motorists Association, studies have found multiple issues with the breath test, indicating that it is not the most solid piece of evidence. The NMA points out that people accused of drunk driving have a right to present these issues in their DUI defense. However, it is likely that many people don't realize that there are serious problems with the breath test itself.

Many people believe that the breath test is scientific in its design but actually there appears to be nothing scientific about it. When compared to the blood test, the breath test has a consistent margin of error consisting of 50 percent. This means that someone whose breath test measures above 0.08 may not actually be over the limit.

Breath machines ruled faulty

Last year, Ohio's breath test machines came under heavy criticism for their repeated history of inaccuracy. While the state claimed that the machines were without fault, according to WKYC, several judges disagreed and actually ruled that the results of the state's machines were not admissible in their courts. Especially of concern to people was the fact that over 36,000 people in the state were arrested for drunk driving in 2011, based on the results of their breath test.

The State University of New York reports that there are several ways in which a breath test's results can be affected. These include:
-Body temperature.
-If someone has recently exercised.
-Electrical equipment such as police radios and cell phones.

Exposure to chemicals can create false readings. A man was given a breath test and a blood test after painting a room. He was exposed to the paint for 20 minutes and wore a mask to protect him from breathing in the paint's fumes. A breath test showed his BAC at 0.075 while a blood test showed no alcohol in his system. In another test, breads were shown to give people a BAC of about 0.05 with a breath test.

These studies show that the breath test is far from accurate and therefore a person could be falsely accused and arrested for a DUI. When a person is facing such allegations, it is of benefit to speak with an experienced attorney.

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