Articles Tagged with new hampshire dui breath test

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Many people who are pulled over by the police on suspicion of drunk driving are asked to take a preliminary breath test (PBT) to give the officer an estimate of the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). As everyone who has taken a PBT knows, the test involves blowing into a device that then gives a reading, usually in the form of a number or a percentage. But what’s really being measured inside that little black box?

Breath samples given by blowing into a breath testing machine usually include three different types of samples. These are known as tidal breath air, reserve breath air, and alveolar breath air. Tidal breath air comes from the top of the lungs. When a person breathes normally, most of what they exhale is tidal breath air. Reserve breath air is exhaled when a person breathes while exercising. More air goes in and out in a reserve breath than in a tidal breath, but the air still stays in the lungs for only a short time. Neither of these types of breath samples gives an accurate depiction of a person’s blood alcohol concentration.

In order to work correctly, a New Hampshire breath alcohol testing machine must test a sample of alveolar breath air. This type comes from deep in the lungs, where it has been in contact with the blood circulating through the alveoli, which are lung tissues that put oxygen into the bloodstream and clean carbon dioxide out. An officer that asks a driver to blow steadily until the driver is gasping for air is trying to get a sample of alveolar breath air.

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By the time a New Hampshire police officer tells a driver it’s time for a breath test, the officer has already been watching the driver for some time. Police officers are trained to look for and remember clues that indicate a driver is intoxicated. Often, a police officer will require the driver to perform one or more NH field sobriety tests, such as a one-leg stand or a walk-and-turn test, before administering a breath test.

Preliminary breath testing gives a police officer an approximate reading of the driver’s blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. In New Hampshire, driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is illegal and usually results in a DUI arrest. What the breath test does not do, however, is tell the officer how impaired the driver is. The same amount of alcohol may cause a great deal of impairment or very little, depending on the driver’s size, whether the driver has had anything to eat, the driver’s personal tolerance of alcohol, as well as other factors. Drivers who are asked to perform a preliminary breath test in New Hampshire face penalties if they refuse. Even if the driver consents, however, a breath test must be performed correctly in order to be accurate.

Experienced New Hampshire drunk driving attorneys like those at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. know what to look for in the events that surround a driver’s arrest. We will review the details of your case thoroughly and fight to win the best possible outcome. For a free and confidential case evaluation, call Tenn And Tenn, P.A. today at 1-888-511-1010.