Breath Test - Alcohol
By getting a reduction of the charge from DUI to a lesser offense, you avoid the extreme penalties of a first offense DUI [link to boxes below?] in Washington State, and the lesser charge may later be “expunged”. However, if you plead guilty to DUI, or are found guilty of DUI at trial, the charge will never be “expunged” from your criminal history.
Breathalyzer Test Device
Draeger Clcotest 9510
The new, state of the art breath testing machine is called the Draeger Alcotest 9510. The Draeger uses two technologies to measure alcohol on the breath. One of those technologies is the same infrared spectroscopy method used by the Datamaster. The IR technology of the Draeger is, however, more sophisticated than that used by the Datamaster because an additional “filter” is used to try to flag the presence of other chemicals on the breath that might cause a false positive. In addition, the Draeger uses a separate technology, an electrochemical fuel cell, to come up with a separate alcohol measurement. Because the fuel cell is sensitive only to alcohols, there is less potential for chemicals other than alcohol to cause a false positive result.
Physiological differences between people in the population, such as lung capacity and breathing pattern, to name a few, will cause natural differences in the accuracy and reliability of breath test results. It is also very important to the accuracy of the test that the operator of the breath test machine administer the breath test itself as well as the pre-test mouth check and “observation period” correctly. Unlike the WSP breath test technicians who maintain and repair Washington breath test machines, breath test operators do not have in-depth training on how the machines work. Most law enforcement officers around the state are certified to operate machines in their area, but their ignorance of the science involved and their relative inexperience in breath testing can cause mistakes during the test administration process that might seriously compromise the value of the results of the test.
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