Are Burbank DUI Breathalyzers Tests Based on Bad Science? Can That Really Be?

If you failed a breathalyzer and got arrested for driving under the influence in Burbank or elsewhere in the Southland, odds are you are beating yourself up right now. You’re scrambling to figure out how your life will change once your California driver’s license is stripped away, you’re forced to pay massive fines and spiked insurance rates, and you’re compelled by law to serve jail time.burbank-breath-test.jpg

Before you continue dreaming up “worst case scenarios,” it may be worth it to take a breath (no pun intended) and learn a little bit about the potentially flawed and contaminated science behind Burbank DUI breathalyzer tests.

Many Questions, Surprisingly Feeble Rebuttals
1. The “lung volume” problem.

The volume of air that you expel from your lungs depends on a slate of factors. Are you a man or a woman? Did you take a big breath or a shallow one? Often, police officers will ask you to take a deep breath before a breathalyzer to yield a higher BAC rating.

2. The “diversity of metabolism” problem.

Every person’s biochemistry is different. We have different metabolisms. Our blood vessels dilate differently. We absorb alcohol at different rates in different situations. Our bronchial tubes are different — this fact, too, can impact the rate at which the alcohol permeates into the sample. Our “blood breath” ratio can vary widely, depending on temperature, genetics, and other factors. Most breathalyzers are rudimentary, simple tools — not great for dealing with the massive complexity of the human body.

3. Prominent researchers’ concerns are un-refuted.

Researchers like A.W. Jones, Kurt Dubowski and Michael Hlastala — widely recognized authorities in alcohol breath testing — have pointed out many flaws in the common methodologies. Dr. Kurt Dubowski, a decorated member of the National Safety Council’s Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAOD) and recipient of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ top honor, has been a vocal critic of breathalyzer thinking. In one paper, Dr. Dubowski argued that time curves for blood alcohol can vary widely: most people assume that alcohol gets absorbed within 60-90 minutes, but the science tells us this is just not true.

An Isolated Example of “Junk Science”?

As any Los Angeles DUI lawyer will take you, most Burbank DUI defendants automatically assume that breathalyzer results must be “true” or at least probably valid because these tests are so ubiquitous and popular. If they didn’t work, why do so many police still use them? If the science is so bad and ambiguous – as this blog article and many other sources have argued – then why has there not been more of an uproar?

The answer has to do, probably, with human groupthink. Indeed, there is evidence in a surprisingly diverse number of fields that junk science may be the norm. It could impact fields as far ranging as climate science, diet and nutrition science, and even particle physics.

Of course, you are probably less interested in saving the world than in figuring out what to do about your Burbank DUI. To that end, connect with a Burbank DUI criminal defense attorney at the Kraut Law Group (2600 West Olive Avenue, 5th Floor, Burbank, California 91505 Phone: (818) 563-9810) to get a free and comprehensive consultation to find your best defense strategy.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Burbank or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.

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