DUI Breath Test - How you Blow Determines Guilt?
July 7th, 2009
Washington State's DUI law includes a "per se" law with a DUI "legal limit" of .08. The breath test protocol used in Seattle and Washington State DUI arrests requires that the accused provide two separate breath samples. In the "usual" DUI arrest, such as one processed by the Seattle police DUI Squad, the breath test is administered on the BAC DataMaster. The BAC DataMaster is currently nearing the end of its useful life, having first been used in Washington State DUI arrests in the late 1980's and changing very little since then. One problem with using the measurement technology employed in the BAC DataMaster is that often, the same individual blowing twice into the machine will produce two different results. Knowledgeable Washington State DUI defense attorneys argue that if the breath testing device is truly accurate, the test results should be the same, yet disparate DUI breath test results are actually very common. Experts for DUI prosecutors argue that disparate breath test results from the same person are the result of the individual's blowing pattern: A "short blow" results in a lower result than a "long blow." Usually, citizens under arrest for DUI are told by the DUI officer to "Blow until I tell you to stop," but the DUI arrestee is not told that "the longer you blow the more guilty you will be." One result of the current breath testing procedures is that an individual under arrest for DUI who blows the minimum acceptable breath volume into the BAC DataMaster could produce readings under the legal limit, but the same person who blows longer into the machine very well could find himself guilty of violating Washington State's "per se" DUI law by producing a test result of .08 or higher. Most citizens are probably in favor of the concept of a "per se" DUI law. However, those same citizens would likely be quite surprised to learn that their own guilt or innocence might depend upon how they happento blow into the breath test machine if arrested for DUI.