DUI Arrests in California
203,866 DUI arrests occurred statewide in 2007. 75% of these arrests resulted in a drunk driving conviction. In California, impaired driving is a serious criminal offense, punishable by fines, incarceration, probation, license restrictions, mandatory alcohol programs, and other consequences.
Your reputation, job, and ability to obtain future employment can be compromised too. That's why our firm is committed to helping people like you avoid unnecessary drunk driving convictions.
About Blood Tests & Breath Tests
The word "breathalyzer" is a combination of two words: breath/analyzer. Breathalyzer testing was developed by law enforcement in the 1940s. Today, breath test results are used by prosecutors to convict drivers of alcohol-impaired driving. Law enforcement uses breathalyzer tests to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). According to California Vehicle Code § 23150, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. CA Vehicle Code § 23150(b) states that a driver is "under the influence" of alcohol when his/her BAC level is 0.08% or more.
How do breathalyzer tests work?
The body absorbs alcohol into the blood stream through the mouth, intestines, throat, and stomach. Digestion does not change the chemical properties of alcohol, so it is easily detectible in the body's system. A person's level of intoxication is determined by the amount of alcohol in his/her blood. Thus, breathalyzer testing is an indirect measurement of your BAC. As the body digests an alcoholic beverage, some of the alcohol evaporates and moves across the alveoli in the lungs (pouches of air in the lungs). As the air passes through the lungs, it becomes "volatile," taking in some of the alcohol from the bloodstream. The amount alcohol absorbed by your breath is proportionate to your BAC. The ration between breath and BAC is 2,100 to 1. For every 2,100 milliliters of breath, you blood contains one milliliter of alcohol.
Types of Breath Tests
There are three types of breath tests:
- Breathalyzer Testing measures BAC using a chemical reaction.
- Intoxilyzer Testing measures BAC with infrared spectroscopy.
- Alocosensor Testing measures BAC through the chemical reaction of a fuel cell and alcohol
Breathalyzer testing is one of the most common forms of chemical testing used by law enforcement. This type of test measures the level of alcohol in your breath/bloodstream by observing a chemical reaction, which produces a color change that indicates the suspect's BAC.
Breathalyzer tests are comprised of three parts: a system to sample the breath, glass vials to hold the chemical reaction, and a collection of photocells to measure the reaction. The breathalyzer uses sulfuric acid, potassium dichromate, and silver nitrate to create the chemical reaction and measure the level of alcohol in the suspect's system.