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The inaccuracy of breath tests in Michigan

If a breath test shows that a person's blood alcohol content is 0.08 or over, than the person will be arrested and charged with a DUI.
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    December 07, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The inaccuracy of breath tests in Michigan

The breath test is an accepted method used by law enforcement officers in Detroit to determine if a motorist is under the influence of alcohol and whether that level is above the legal limit allowed. If a breath test shows that a person's blood alcohol content is 0.08 or over, than the person will be arrested and charged with a DUI or operating while intoxicated.

According to Mothers Against Driving, there were over 36,000 DUI arrests made in 2011 in Michigan but only a little over 17,000 convictions. While Michigan's DUI penalties are not as severe as in other states, there are severe consequences to pay when someone is convicted of drunk driving such as fines, loss of income, incarceration and even license suspension.

The breath test is not science

The average person understands that in science there is a hypothesis, a test, or experiment, and the findings of that test. The findings prove or disprove the hypothesis and therefore, it is important that the test be carefully conducted, making sure that no outside factors influence the test results. A breath test is widely thought to be a science-based test but according to the National Motorists Association, this is inaccurate.

The NMA states that breath test results can be wrong by as much as a margin of 50 percent. This means that if a person's blood alcohol content is determined to be 0.10, a blood test, which is considered extremely accurate may show that the person could be as low as 0.05 or as high as 0.15. Studies have shown that the breath test has a wide range of variables which can influence its readings.

Outside factors

When a man in Arizona was charged with DUI, his attorney moved to submit evidence concerning the inaccuracy of the breath test. According to the Arizona Daily Star, when prosecutors tried to have the evidence prohibited, the judge assigned to the case ruled against them. The case then found its way to the state's Supreme Court and the court ruled in favor of the man. This means that people in Arizona will be able to use physiological variables to show that a breath test is not accurate.

The State University of New York cites a study where a participant was asked to work on a project that involved the use of contact cement and oil-base paint. Twenty minutes after the participant finished the project, he was given a breath test and his BAC was measured at 0.12, well above the legal limit. In addition to paint and contact cement, a breath test can also be influenced by:
-The presence of electronics.
-Tobacco smoke.
-Body temperature and outside temperature.
-If a person recently exercised in some form.

Even a person's health condition could lead to a false arrest for DUI. One example of this is people who are diabetic because they often have an acetone level that is much higher than the average person - acetone is the substance breath tests look for.

When someone is arrested for DUI, they should make every effort to examine the evidence and question something if they believe it is wrong. Talking with an experienced attorney can help someone understand what his or her rights are.

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