What Is a Breathalyzer?

What Is a Breathalyzer?

already after just a associate of drinks, someone displays the signs of alcohol in their system. With driving, this can be swerving, ignoring traffic signs, and behaving erratically behind the wheel. If a law enforcement official notices this kind of driving, he or she can pull the person over and ask them to submit to a sobriety test. Sometimes, this test may be a field-based estimation, or it could be administered with a blood alcohol testing device such as a Breathalyzer.

It is important to understand how alcohol gets in the bloodstream in the first place. As you drink, the beverage travels by the stomach and into the intestines. The intestines break down food and other items you ingest into smaller molecules so that they can be absorbed into your blood. Your bloodstream then carries these molecules around the body to use as food and for other purposes.

Just like regular food and drink, alcohol gets absorbed into the bloodstream. From here, it has the ability to act on your complete body. However, the blood must first travel by the lungs. In the lungs, there are very thin membranes that allow the exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen. The alcohol molecules can become airborne and travel out of your body with your carbon dioxide exhalations. The amount of alcohol in your breath corresponds with your blood alcohol content, or BAC.

With a Breathalyzer, a police official will ask you to exhale into a mouthpiece attached to the device. Next, your breath is sent by several different chemicals, and a chemical reaction takes place between these vials of chemicals and the alcohol. This reaction is converted into an electrical signal via a photocell. A needle on the Breathalyzer’s gauge then jumps out of its normal range. The law enforcement official twists the dial to bring the needle back into the normal range, and the difference between this normal point and the point after you breathed into the device is then calculated to show your BAC.

As precise as the Breathalyzer may sound, it can nevertheless make mistakes when calculating your BAC. There may be problems with the photocell or chemical vials that compromise your sample. An experienced drunk driving attorney can help you find these errors. To discuss your case, contact a knowledgeable Dallas DWI lawyer from the Lassiter Law Offices today.

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