Blood and Breath Tests

Arizona law makes it illegal to drive if you are "impaired to the slightest degree." Tests have proven that BAC is a relatively accurate way to judge the level of impairment of alertness, reaction time, inhibitions and coordination caused by drinking alcohol. The higher your blood alcohol concentration, the more impaired you are.

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Blood Alcohol Concentration Testing

There are two main methods of testing BAC used in Arizona: Breath tests and blood tests.

Breath Tests are usually done with what is termed a PAS Device. PAS stands for Preliminary Alcohol Screening. They're also known as breathalyzers. When you blow into one of these devices, your exhaled air is trapped in a chamber and an electrical current is applied to the chamber to burn the alcohol in the chamber. The combustion is measured and a result is a number which is supposed to indicate your blood alcohol concentration.

The readings provided by these machines are fairly suspect in regards to accuracy, and portable breath tests are not admissible in Arizona courts. They don't have "slope detectors" which protect against artificially high readings caused by alcohol in the mouth. The readings are not specific to only alcohol, which means other substances can also trigger higher readings. And they can be subject to other errors caused by a lack of proper maintenance.

Blood tests are by far the more accurate of the two types of testing. Blood is drawn from the driver either at a police station or at a local medical lab. Those samples are then analyzed for alcohol concentration.

If you are certain that your BAC is less than .08%, definitely ask for a blood test. The flip side of the argument is that if your test comes back over .08%, it is more difficult to contest the accuracy of the results.

Do you have to submit to a breath or blood test?

State law doesn't require you to submit to a blood or breath test. However, if you refuse, you will lose your license for at least 1 year.  In addition, if you refuse a test, you will automatically lose your license for one year.

One right you should know about: you can request to have your tests taken by an independent laboratory. You'll have to pay for the results, but you will then have your own evidence to use in court to dispute any tests taken by the police. That can be well worth the price of the lab testing.

It is NOT like on TV's C.S.I. Shows

Breath and blood tests for DUI are prone to error even in the best of circumstances. Both tests can be compromised by human error, poor maintenance, faulty equipment, interference from outside sources, and other malfunctions.

If you were arrested after submitting to a breath or blood test, please waste no time in contacting my office. I have extensive experience in DUI defense and know many effective ways to challenge the accuracy or admissibility of a breath or blood test in court.

Free Initial Consultation - Flat Rate - Financing Available

At The Law Office of William L. Morris, we offer a FREE initial telephone consultation. We'll go over your case and offer some strategies.

When you hire us to go to work for you, our "flat rate" will give you peace of mind in knowing exactly what we'll charge and that we aren't "running up the clock." We also have convenient financing available to make it easier for you to get effective representation from a real Scottsdale DUI lawyer and not just a public defender.

Talk to an experienced Scottsdale DUI lawyer NOW!

If you need a DUI defense lawyer, call William L. Morris day or night. If you don't reach Scottsdale DUI lawyer William L. Morris directly, your call will be forwarded instantly and he'll return your call within minutes - 24 hours a day.

If you prefer, you can contact us by email. Your message will be immediately forwarded to your Arizona DUI lawyer's phone and you'll get a response within minutes.

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