Why Does It Take So Long To Receive A Breathalyzer Test?



    Man blowing into breathalyzerOne of the things that the defense attorney must understand in the crime of DWI and how to defend it the allegation is that you drove in an intoxicated manner at a certain time. Invariably each and every time, there is a delay from the time you’re stopped, questioned, asked to perform Standardized Field Sobriety Tests or agility tests, handcuffed, transported, and then finally given an opportunity to take a breathalyzer chemical test. That delay can often be up to two hours. We contend, and one of the major defenses in a defense of DWI is that the test result is not accurate because it was not taken at the time closest in point to when you were driving.

     Alcohol enters our bloodstream, and there’s an absorption ratio, so when you drink alcohol, and if you’re on an empty stomach, usually it takes 45 minutes for the alcohol to reach your bloodstream. If you and I poured out three shots of alcohol and I drank 3 shots in 30 seconds, took a chemical test or a breathalyzer, what do you think my reading would be? Zero. It takes 45 minutes, sometimes longer based on if you had a full stomach or not, to release the bloodstream alcohol, so when there’s a delay in time, often that can create a false positive reading. You may be completely sober or have a blood alcohol level well below the limit at the time you’re stopped, but an hour and a half or two hours later when you should no longer be driving, you take a blood chemical or a breath test, you will have a higher rate, a false positive rate.

    If you are in need of legal counsel in New York State, please feel free to contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you. 

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