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Breathalyzers: What Are The Different Types and How They Are Used?

The DUI/OVI law in Ohio that is based on breath testing makes it illegal to operate a vehicle with any prohibited amount of alcohol in that person’s bloodstream. Law enforcement has the ability to calculate the amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood by taking a breath test. Under this provision of the Ohio DUI/OVI statute, it does NOT matter if the driver can even feel the effects of any alcohol consumed. As a matter of fact, the driver suspected of driving under the influence could “feel” completely sober and still be guilty of DUI/OVI.

If you have a DUI case in the state of Ohio, you need to consider speaking with one of Ohio’s top DUI lawyers to see if they can create a strong defense for your case. The penalties on the pages are applicable only to drivers who are convicted of a DUI/OVI.

If an Ohio Law Enforcement Officer, Sheriff’s Deputy, or State Highway Patrolman suspects an individual is operating a motor vehicle over the legal limit, the officer can ask him or her to submit to a DUI/OVI breath test, which can also be known as a breathalyzer test.  If the result of the test is .08 BAC or higher, the officer will then charge that driver with a “per se” DUI/OVI.  If breath test result is .17 or greater, the officer will then charge that driver with a “per se” DUI/OVI that may fall under the “high test” category. There are different mandatory penalties connected with each offense. If you want to learn more information about the separate penalties, you can explore this site or contact us – experienced Ohio DUI/OVI defense attorneys – today.

What Are The Breath Test Machines Used in Ohio DUI/OVI Investigations?

Ohio DUI/OVI breath testing machines are required to be approved by the Ohio Department of Health. Currently, there are only three approved machines:

  1. The BAC Datamaster
  2. The Intoxilyzer 5000
  3. The Intoxilyzer 8000

Police officers also frequently use Portable Breath Testing devices (PBT’s) on the scene of Ohio DUI/OVI investigations. The results of these devices, for better or worse, are not admissible in a court of law.

How do Ohio’s Breath Testing Machines Work in a DUI Case?

When a driver is suspected of driving under the influence, blows into a breath testing machine, or a ‘breathalyzer”, infrared energy is sent through the chamber that will then contain the breath sample.  Alcohol molecules have the ability to absorb infrared energy, that means the machine measures the amount of infrared energy absorbed. The machine will then calculate the concentration of alcohol in the breath sample due to the nature of how the machine works.  The machine then prints the results that are expressed in grams of alcohol per 210 ml of breath.

What Are Breath Testing Rules and Regulations in DUI/OVI Cases for the State of Ohio? 

There are a multitude of rules affecting how Ohio DUI/OVI lawyers are allowed to use breath tests as evidence in court.  There are also rules that officers are required to follow if they want to use a breath test against a driver suspected of DUI/OVI.

They include the following:

  1. The breath test MUST be administered to a suspected DUI driver within three hours of the offense
  2. The sample must be analyzed according to methods that are approved by the Ohio Department of Health
  3. The officer who administered the breath test needs to have a current operator permit for the machine
  4. The breath testing machine must pass regular testing/maintenance to verify that it is operating properly
  5. The records of the breath testing machine must be kept in accordance with current regulations.

If you are charged with DUI and have taken a breath test, we would love to assist you with your case. There are many avenues with which to present a defense.

What Are Common Mistakes & Defense Strategies in Ohio DUI/OVI Investigations?

No DUI/OVI or drinking and driving arrest in the state of Ohio is “perfect.”  Ohio DUI/OVI lawyers know this. Most DUI/OVI investigations include a number of witnesses, which can include enforcement officers and those responsible for collecting, storing, and testing the chemical samples. These witnesses are human and have the propensity to make mistakes. Along that line, it is possible that an Ohio DUI/OVI investigations used a breath testing device, or other testing equipment, that might not be maintained according to current regulations, if that is the case, there could be an opportunity for defending against your breath test results, you can learn more about possible defense strategies here.

If you are charged with a DUI in Ohio, please contact The Farrish Law Firm today. We are experienced, trustworthy and ready to evaluate your case and guide in the right direction for your DUI/OVI charge in Cincinnati.