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  • Writer's pictureMonty Randhawa

Breath vs. Blood: Understanding the Impact of DUI Testing in California

When it comes to determining a person's blood alcohol content (BAC) in a DUI case in California, there are two main methods of testing: breath tests and blood tests. Each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it's important to understand the differences between them and how they may impact a DUI case.


Breath Tests


Breath tests, also known as breathalyzers, work by measuring the amount of alcohol in a person's breath. The test is usually administered using a handheld device, and it's considered to be a non-invasive way to measure a person's BAC. Breath tests are commonly used by law enforcement officers during a DUI stop and arrest, as they are easy to administer and results are usually available quickly.


One of the advantages of breath tests is that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to administer. They can also be used in the field, which means that a law enforcement officer can test a person's BAC at the scene of a DUI stop. Additionally, breath tests are considered to be less intrusive than blood tests and do not require a medical professional to administer.

However, there are also several disadvantages to breath tests. One of the biggest concerns is the accuracy of the results. Breath tests are not as accurate as blood tests, and the results can be affected by a number of factors such as the person's age, weight, and overall health. Additionally, breath tests can be affected by mouth alcohol, which can cause a false high reading.


Blood Tests


Blood tests are considered to be the most accurate way to measure a person's BAC. They work by measuring the amount of alcohol in a person's blood. Blood tests are usually administered by a medical professional and the samples are usually sent to a lab for analysis.

One of the main advantages of blood tests is that they are considered to be more accurate than breath tests. They are not affected by mouth alcohol and other factors that can affect the accuracy of breath tests. Additionally, blood tests can detect the presence of drugs, which can be important in cases where a person is suspected of DUI involving drugs.


However, there are also several disadvantages to blood tests. One of the biggest concerns is that they are invasive, which means that a person's blood must be drawn, which can be uncomfortable and even traumatic for some people. Additionally, blood tests are more expensive than breath tests, and the results are not available as quickly.


When it comes to DUI cases in California, both breath and blood test results can be used as evidence in court. However, blood test results are generally considered to be more reliable, and therefore, they may carry more weight in court. It is important to note that in California, a person has the right to request a blood test after being arrested for DUI and refused the breath test.


In conclusion, understanding the differences between breath and blood test results in a DUI case in California is important. It's important to understand that both types of tests have their own set of advantages and disadvantages and that a DUI case can be defended by challenging the accuracy of the test results. It is highly recommended to seek legal advice from an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to understand your rights, options and the best defense strategy for your case. If you are charged with a DUI in San Diego, California, you can set up a free consultation with Attorney Monty Randhawa to discuss representation.


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