DUII: The Breath Test

If you are pulled over for a DUII stop, the police will normally conduct a breath test. This is not the case if the breath testing equipment is unavailable or if you have been involved in a collision involving a death or a serious risk of death. Whatever the form, the object of the test is to gauge the level of alcohol in your system.

Although breath testing is the most common way to measure an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”), it is subject to a wide variety of testing errors that may render the results unreliable. This is one of the reasons why police may falsely arrest (and prosecutors wrongfully convict) innocent people for DUII.

Oregon law enforcement agencies use different DUII breath testing instruments, but generally the device operates on infrared spectroscopy. This technology converts the amount of alcohol that is present in an individual’s breath into the amount of alcohol that is in that person’s blood.

This indirect conversion process frequently causes the integrity of DUII breath test results to be compromised. Factors such a

  • one’s physiology;
  • the environment; and
  • procedural error.
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