Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Sugar Land, Texas can cause you a lot of trouble. Testing is a way for police to gather evidence. Even if you’ve never had a drink of alcohol in your life, you’re most likely familiar with the term “breath test” for determining the level of alcohol in a person’s body. You may also know that blood tests can be used to find that information, as well.
A quick biology lesson: when consumed, alcohol takes a trip through the esophagus down to the stomach and small intestine, at which point the alcohol enters the bloodstream and makes its way through the rest of your body.
Eventually, it reaches the lungs, at which point it gets expelled in very small amounts whenever a person breathes out.
Now, depending on your actions and decisions made after consuming alcohol, you may attract the attention of Texas law enforcement. This can happen even if you aren’t operating a vehicle; blood alcohol tests conducted in the field only require an officer to suspect that you are intoxicated.
Being suspected of driving under the influence, or committing a DUI, may lead to either a breath test or a blood test to determine your blood alcohol levels.
Breath tests involve the use of a breathalyzer to measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. The device works a little like a remote thermometer: the person breathes into a tube, and the device can produce immediate readouts of the person’s blood-alcohol level.
Law enforcement favors breath tests because of their portability and ease of use. The device does not require a medical background or extensive training to operate, and it can easily be used in most environments.
However, the breathalyzer can be negatively affected by environmental situations and produce false-positive results based on special factors. If the person being tested recently ate something cooked with alcohol, the breathalyzer can detect the alcohol in their breath and produce a positive test. Likewise, if the person used mouth wash or has denture adhesive present in their mouth, that can also affect the test result.
Blood tests work by measuring the amount of alcohol in a blood sample taken from the individual in question. Because the test takes a direct measurement from the blood rather than any amounts expelled by exhalation, the tests tend to be more accurate.
However, the care that has to be taken when taking a blood sample makes it harder to conduct such tests in the field. It can be dangerous to get a blood sample from an uncooperative person, which is why field blood tests tend to be reserved for situations like car crashes.
It’s also possible that both tests can be administered in a single DUI situation. An officer on site may conduct a breathalyzer test, and if the suspect has to be taken into custody, a blood test may be done at the police station or hospital. Likewise, any victim injured in a car accident may be subjected to a blood test during the medical examination.
If you have been accused of a DUI, contact an experienced attorney like Adam Capetillo as soon as possible. He will work with you to defend your rights and reputation.