Saturday, October 11, 2014

Can Breath Tests Be Wrong?

Breath testing machines have always had various faults that created potential defenses to a DUI attorney. The newest generation of machines also have a multitude of potential errors and faults that may render a breath test inaccurate. According to Matthew Ruff, a DUI Attorney in Torrance California, One of the best ways to attack a breath test is to use a defense expert in the area of toxicology. Many experts have a vast amount of experience working within the states crime lab and often bring with them a substantial amount of credibility given the fact they once worked and testified on behalf of the prosecution. When it comes to breath testing each case needs to be examined carefully to scrutinize the breath samples for possible error as it relates to a person's true blood alcohol level. One of the most fruitful areas of attack in recent years is on the issue of interfering substances. When we say interfering substances, we mean the breath machine is picking up substances other than alcohol but reporting them as a BAC result.  This is especially true for older breath machines and virtually all PAS devices sense the basic working of these machines rely on the use of a fuel cell that reacts to various substances and may display those substances as a blood alcohol level when in fact the true BAC or blood alcohol level may be much lower.

Some people in certain professions  are more prone to  interfering substances than others .for example occupational exposure  to toluene  for example will show up as alcohol  on various machines as well  substances containing acetone .when these substances are inhaled, for example ,during the course of a person's occupation ,this exposure can cause  a false  positive for alcohol  and can increase the  true blood alcohol levels by as much as  point .05 %.  Though this may not seem  like a significant amount for persons  subject to zero tolerance  even a fraction of a percentage point  can result  in termination  of employment or the loss  of their drivers license.  One example of a person  who may be exposed  to interfering chemicals  could be someone who works  in an industrial setting ,someone who paints for a living ,works in a auto body shop ,or is a janitor by trade .He or she may be exposed  to certain compounds  which can enter the bloodstream and cause  in interfering substance error  in the blood-alcohol test .

In one recent publicized case  a painter  was arrested for DUI  and  his  blood-alcohol level  was reported  as being  above the legal limit . it turns out is exposure  to certain chemicals  such as acetone  and the like  in its trade  may have  caused  in artificially high  BAC  level  and  subjected him  unfairly  to criminal prosecution . an expert in the area of toxicology  could be utilized  to convey  to the jury  at trial  how  certain substances  may  falsely influence  the breath machine . some scientific studies seem to  infer  that  interference  from a variety of  chemicals  may  have  a deleterious  affect  on  certain  breath  testing  machines  used  in  DUI  prosecutions .

DO I Need To Disclose My DUI Arrest On A Job Application?

Here is the scenario:  You are arrested for a DUI and are given a Court date to appear and  answer to the charges months away, before you ever even get to your arraignment to are in the process of job hunting which requires you to fill out job applications.  How do you deal with the DUI arrest on the application?

In order to answer this question we must first understand that being arrested alone does not mean you "have a DUI on your record".  An arrest under the law is requires a very low level of proof and it does not equate to being guilty of the offense for which you were arrested.  We must remember that under the United States and California Constitutions a person is "presumed innocent" unless and until the contrary is proven in a Court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.

So, how do you deal with a application for employment?  First, take a careful look at the question being asked.  Under California law it is actually illegal for a private employer to ask if you have ever been arrested.  This means that  most applications will not directly ask you about an arrest alonne.  the question is usually phrased as "Have you ever been convicted of a crime".  Under this scenario you can honestly answer "NO" to that question if your case has not yet been resolved in Court.  There are times when a private employer may ask if you have any "pending"  cases in Court.  This question is much more tricky and involves a more careful response.  You should consult your attorney to help respond in this type of situation.

In addition, there are governmental employers and jobs that require security clearances, etc.  which can be exceptions to the rule.  Remember, CA law only excludes "private employers from asking about arrests that do not culminate into a conviction.  If you are seeking employment from these entities consult your lawyer for a more detailed answer to these applications.