DUI Attorney Explains: How to Pass a Breathalyzer
By: William C. Head, Drunk Driving Book Author and Atlanta DUI Attorney
How to Pass a Breathalyzer Test for DUI in Georgia
To understand how to pass a breathalyzer test for DUI in Georgia, you need to know what is meant by the word “Breathalyzer.” Like the word “Kleenex” has become synonymous with “tissue,” the word “Breathalyzer” has become synonymous with a breath alcohol test. Breathalyzer, however, is a brand originally created by Robert F. Borkenstein, who worked at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
He passed away in 2002 shortly before his 90th birthday. The registration date of the trademark was May 13, 1958, and was the most popular forensic breath testing device used by police in the 1950s, 1960s and the early 1970s.
Breathalyzer is a generic term for any commercial breathalyzer machine sold worldwide. Mr. Head has been training other attorneys, and the general public about the fallacies and limitations of breath alcohol tests. If your attorney for DUI defense KNOWS how to attack the reliability of the breath machine, he or she can show a jury its inherent weaknesses.
In these seven short video clips from 2008, Mr. Head explains the reliability issues. These will give you an idea of his range of knowledge on how to beat a breathalyzer:
The requirement of two Intoxilyzer breath tests being in close agreement
State of Georgia GBI intentionally refused to capture or download data on Intoxilyzer
Explaining Breath Testing in Georgia to a jury
DUI Breathalyzer mouthpiece configuration
Failure of the DUI Breathalyzer mouthpiece baffle
Breath machine limitations explained by DUI Lawyer
How police manipulate your Georgia Intoxilyzer breath alcohol test
A breath testing device used by law enforcement for DUI cases is NOT your gadget store breath test. The “official” breath testing instruments used in drunk driving arrests print out a test result, and every machine must be calibrated at the factory and periodically checked for accuracy by State forensic lab employees.
This information lets you know that the question of “how to pass a breathalyzer” is not some DUI lawyer ruse in how to trick a breathalyzer.
Breathalyzer Training Background of DUI Attorney William Head of Atlanta
The topic of how to pass a breathalyzer test is an article that very few DUI attorneys in America could write. Why? Because most DUI defense lawyers have only taken cursory training on the Intoxilyzer 9000 in abbreviated 1-hour to 6-hour courses, just to be able to say that they have had “training.” NONE of these Georgia attorneys have had physical access to the Intoxilyzer 9000 during these courses.
Virtually ZERO criminal attorneys and even fewer lawyers for DUI — if not ZERO — have actually touched the current forensic device used in Georgia, the CMI Intoxilyzer 9000.
DUI lawyer Bubba Head, author of this article, HAS run actual breath tests on the new Intoxilyzer 9000. In February of 2017, at an undisclosed location in Texas, Mr. Head conducted testing along with long-time breathalyzer machine experts Jan Semenoff of Saskatchewan, Canada and Thomas Workman of Taunton, Massachusetts. All testing was done while running a calibrated wet bath simulator, to assure breathalyzer accuracy.
The impetus for the trip to Texas was that Mr. Head was co-chairing a Georgia DUI Law seminar for the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on March 3-4, 2017. Mr. Head wanted the DUI seminar attendees to watch video footage of how the Intoxilyzer 9000 malfunctions in certain circumstances. DUI experts Workman and Semenoff presented remotely with video footage of various shortcomings and malfunctions associated with Georgia’s new breathalyzer test.
Ironically, the shortcomings of the breath machine were the same revealed in 1996 for the previous breath device used in Georgia, the CMI Intoxilyzer 5000. Read further about this program.
In 1996 Bubba Head SPONSORED a 4-day comprehensive course on the principles of breath testing in a 32-hour course. The topics included, but were not limited to: Beers Law, retrograde extrapolation, Henry’s Law, evidential breath instruments, partition ratio, chopper wheel, infrared spectroscopy, fuel cell technology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination).
The Intoxilyzer brand of machines (an earlier version) was tested and operated by all attendees in 1996 as part of the course. Check out two video clips from that lengthy course. The first video shows how a cell phone interfered with the electronics of the Intoxilyzer, and was not flagged as RFI (radio frequency interference). The second video involves taking the Intoxilyzer apart, to learn the breath machine from the inside out.
Why Refusal to Submit to Breath Alcohol Testing Can Be Painful
In some states a person can refuse to “blow” into the official breathalyzer test. But this strategy will likely result in a loss of driving privileges for a period of time, which can be a year or more. Many states do not allow any “limited permit” or ignition interlock restricted driving, so think twice before refusing an implied consent breath or blood test.
In states like Texas and South Carolina, top DUI lawyers suggest that drivers do not take the breathalyzer test. In Georgia, the best DUI attorneys will advise you to:
- Not talk (except to give your name and address)
- Not take any roadside tests that are offered before arrest
- If arrested and given an implied consent advisement, do TAKE the breath test (then request and pay for an independent blood test)
Each year, state legislatures around the United States add on punishments, possibly even JAIL time, for refusing to take a Breathalyzer test. The decision to “NOT BLOW” is potentially dangerous to your freedom in states like Hawaii, not to mention losing your right to drive.
These 5 Tips May Let You Know “How to Pass a Breathalyzer”
Knowing how to pass breathalyzer testing is only known by people who have used or own these devices. Mr. Head offers this advice for dealing with an Intoxilyzer 9000 breath test in Georgia:
- Most Intoxilyzer machines capture a sufficient volume of human breath in 5 to 7 seconds. The longer you blow — slowly and steadily — the higher your BAC reading. The suggestion is to stop blowing between 5 and 7 seconds, after a slow, steady blow. This methodology may help keep your breathalyzer number “lower” than your peak level.
- Although the police officer will NOT tell you this, delivering ONE sample is sufficient. You do not need to take a second breath alcohol test, although the officer will insist that you do this. Officers are told to capture TWO results, a few minutes apart, to show a jury that BOTH readings are consistent with each other.
- Officers are supposed to make sure the breath test subject’s mouth is clear of any “foreign” objects or substances. When this “deprivation” step is skipped, acquittals or dismissals may be possible. The highest breath alcohol level the author has seen by representation was for a Florida man charged with DUI in Georgia. His BAC was 0.269/0.272, and his case went to a jury trial, where Mr. Head obtained a not guilty verdict on all DUI charges for that client in Fulton County State Court. More recently, Mr. Head successfully obtained a not guilty on all DUI charges in a Cobb County State Court case. The registered BAC was 0.244/0.249, and there was an 8-day trial with multiple expert witnesses (both medical and for the breathalyzer).
- Vomiting or belching prior to or during a Breathalyzer test CAN either void the breath test results or help win at trial. Look around for a camera in the breath test room, since many testing facilities have security cameras.
- Having any foreign object in your mouth during the testing process is a great defense, when this can be proved by someone other than you testifying. For example, if you were chewing gum or had tobacco in your cheek and you are being BOOKED into jail, make a point of SHOWING that spitting out of the gum or tobacco to your book-in officer. Get his or her name and REMEMBER it.
Our DUI Lawyer Atlanta Office Is Ready to Serve You
Call Atlanta DUI attorney William C. (Bubba) Head anytime day, night, or weekends to learn more ways on how to pass a breathalyzer’s test in Georgia. Mr. Head and his DUI law firm partners, Cory Yager and Larry Kohn, will give you a FREE initial lawyer consultation. 404-567-5515.
Call us 24 hours a day when you need legal help. All three Atlanta attorneys are Georgia Super Lawyers, and are at the top of their respective games for winning DUI cases.
If you have been arrested for DUI, many solid, successful DUI defenses exist to fight breath test results that are above the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC). Because few criminal defense lawyers have spent their legal careers beating breathalyzer tests, Mr. Head and his partners travel statewide to defend people who have too much to lose to plead guilty to DUI in Georgia.