TeeJaw Blog

More DUI Convictions Thrown Out Because of Defective Breathalyzers

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Friday, April 22, 2011, 12: 07 AM

I’m a broken record on this but I will say it again: DUI laws are a horrible injustice because convictions are based on blood alcohol levels and not actual impairment. That’s important because when it comes to human physiological reaction to alcohol all are not the same and impairment among individuals occurs at different levels of alcohol concentration. Thus actual impairment should be the standard and not the level of alcohol in the blood [unless the legal level is set high enough that virtually everyone is impaired at that level.]

This unjust system is made worse by the fact that the method of measurement is faulty. Taking measurement of breath alcohol and converting that to blood alcohol is problematic as well because the formula used to do it is an average among a human population and will not be accurate for any given individual. No one is average.

Finally, and this is huge, the machines used to measure breath alcohol, called breathalyzers, DON’T WORK. Every once in a while someone proves that the machines don’t work, the bureaucrats call it a snafu when it’s really business as usual, and hundreds of DUI convictions have to be tossed out. Here is the latest:

Defective breathalyzer could lead to tossing out hundreds of DUI convictions

PLEASE NOTE: I have never been charged or convicted of DUI. I have never been stopped on the road under suspicion of DUI. I may have an axe to grind, but it’s not that axe.

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2 Responses

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  1. Ken Spiker said, on Friday, April 22, 2011, 9: 58 AM at 9:58 AM

    I know this is one of your favorite topics. Unfortunately, an average amount of social drinking (not in excess) would put most people over the legal limit, and long gone are the days when you could stumble out of the pub and get on your horse and the horse knew the way home. As long as you stayed on the horse you’d be delivered at your delivered at your door safely.

    Besides there being no practical way to measure impairment as such on the spot, I would site other factors in the dangers that drinking and driving pose to the general public, and that is that most people are already impaired drivers before they even have the first drink. There take prescription drugs, they’re stupid or scatterbrained, they can’t stop talking, they’re suffering from lack of sleep, they’re distracted by friends or children in the car, they’re smoking cigarettes, they’re talking on cell phones, they have physical and mental impairments that make it hard for them coordinate, they’re listening to sports on the radio…the list goes on and on. Add a bit of alcohol to that and the combination is a deadly mix.

    I think it’s a thorny problem. The only way I could personally evaluate the issues for myself would be to start drinking, and at various points check my blood alcohol level on a breathalyzer (admittedly inaccurate) and see whether I felt impaired or not. I could try to drive and see how I performed. But then there’s another problem, as I drink more my ability to judge my level of impairment goes out the window. So I wonder if erring on the side of caution isn’t the best policy. I’m sure having a friend or family member killed by a drunk driver would make a person a fanatic on the subject.

    On the other hand we as a nation are just too obsessed with safety. Some kid swallows a safety pin and safety pins have to be banned forever. This is not a healthy trend in my opinion. Okay, I don’t know the answer but I thought I’d add my $.02. Your blog needs comments!

    • TeeJaw said, on Friday, April 22, 2011, 1: 08 PM at 1:08 PM

      You are so right my blog needs comments, so thank you for yours. You make some good comments and and I hope others will respond to your comments with comments of their own.


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