"One of the major defects in many methods of blood-alcohol analysis is the failure to identify ethanol (also referred to as ethyl alcohol) to the exclusion of all other chemical compounds. To use the terminology of scientists, such methods are not specific for ethanol: They will detect other compounds as well, identifying any of them as 'ethanol.' Thus a client with other compounds in his blood or breath may have a high 'blood-alcohol' reading with little or no ethanol in his body. If you look at the warranties---it is sort of interesting---none of the breath machine manufacturers warrant these things to actually test blood alcohol." Lawrence Taylor, Drunk Driving Defense, 5th Edition (2000)
"Breath testing devices in America have been in use since the early 1940's, although the first ones were crude, highly inaccurate pieces of equipment. They were also subject to extreme operator error, if not operated correctly. A troubling trend seems to be emerging in a few states. Handheld fuel cell devices (which run on batteries) are being allowed for EVIDENTIAL testing purposes, not just preliminary screening for alcohol. With blood tests, the use of an alcohol laden swab on subject's skin contaminates the puncture site and voids the test by the state. Most states do not permit forcible retrieval of a blood sample from a suspected DUI driver unless death or serious injury to another person has resulted from a DUI related accident. Therefore, results obtained in such cases will be void. When you are required to submit to the official state test for BAC, ALWAYS insist on your own independent BAC tests. Some states require you to obtain your tests on your own initiative, and will tell you nothing about your rights to seek another test. Other states will advise you of this right, and will even transport you to a facility for giving a sample, if you are going to be kept in custody. If the police deprive you of your freedom of movement and then elicit answers to incriminating questions from you without first giving your Miranda warnings, your attorney may be able to suppress any admissions made by you while in custody. Whenever submitting to the state's BAC tests, always ask the test operator to preserve a sample of the breath, urine or blood so that the sample can be independently tested later. Some states have developed a fairly lax set of rules for blood testing, whereby testing methods other than GC and GC-MS can be used. In most hospitals, alternative testing methods are often utilized, because they are FASTER. Time is money in a hospital. Plus, emergency situations call for quicker testing methods than the laborious process of setting up a proper GC or GC-MS test. One major difference in most hospital tests is that these are often done on blood serum, not the 'whole' blood. Whenever plasma is tested, the results can be as much as 20% higher than when whole blood is utilized." William C. Head, Esq. and Reese I. Joye, Jr., Esq., 101 Ways to Avoid a Drunk Driving Conviction
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