Although a law enforcement officer may have compelled you to take a roadside sobriety test or roadside breathalyzer test, the results of these tests may not be admissible evidence in your DUI trial. Roadside sobriety and breath tests are only used to obtain probable cause to arrest you for DUI. Once arrested, you will be asked to submit to a test to determine your blood alcohol content using a more sophisticated machine. In Tennessee, the Intoximeter EC/IR II machine is used to determine BAC by breath.
The Intoximeter EC/IR II works by the use of a fuel cell which produces an electric current. The strength of the electric current produced is dependent on the amount of alcohol present in the breath sample.
Basically, when you blow into the machine, the alcohol in your breath mixes with oxygen, creating a chemical reaction. The chemical reaction produces electrons, which accumulate on one side of the fuel cell, throwing the fuel cell off-balance. Excess electrons that have accumulated on one side of the cell then flow out through a circuit. A breath sample with more alcohol will produce a stronger electric current than a sample with less alcohol.
While this may sound like a technical, efficient means to detect alcohol in a person’s system, the machine is not without its flaws. The EC/IR II uses an infrared detector to ensure an adequate, testable sample; however, it has been argued that this infrared sensor cannot differentiate between mouth and lung alcohol. If the machine captures both mouth and lung alcohol, it could produce artificially high results.
Marcos Garza is a Knoxville-based attorney who has dedicated his practice to DUI defense. Mr. Garza has completed numerous courses in forensic science—including BAC testing methods—and has helped thousands of clients win favorable outcomes in their DUI cases.
If you or someone you love has been charged with DUI in Tennessee, call Mr. Garza right away at (888) 680-7554. You can even schedule a free, no-risk consultation to discuss the details of your case and how we can fight for your defense.
Call The Garza Law Firm at (888) 680-7554 today.