For the last 15-20 years or so the Washington State Patrol has utilized a machine to test, via breath samples, for an estimate of ethanol in a subject's system named the BAC DataMaster and BAC DataMaster CDM. Why do I say it is an "estimate" of a person's ethanol level? Because the principles utilized are just that, an estimate. For example, as stated in the title of my post, every single person who submits to a sample of their breath, who has consumed any alcohol at all, will have an increased ethanol estimate of 6.5%.
The reason is that the Washington State Patrol utilizes an old theory of internal checks via what is called a simulator solution to check that the machine is reading a .08 mixture (prepared by the Washington State Toxicology Lab). The Tox Lab prepares this mixture and it is heated up to 34 degrees Celsius to simulate the mouth temperature of all persons on earth. The problem with this assumption is that the figure 34 degrees Celsius is based upon a small sample study conducted in the 1940s wherein it was concluded that the mean temperature of persons (only in that sample group) mouth was 34 degrees Celsius. A more recent study with a much larger sample size concluded that the average temperature is actually 35 degrees Celsius.
This means that every single person who submits to a sample of their breath on the DataMaster who has consumed any alcohol recently will automatically have an increased estimate of their breath based upon this outdated theory the government still utilizes to this day! Seem unfair? Of course it is but they don't care. It is only when I cross examine the State's "expert" in breath testing (really only a glorified button pusher) that this revelation is made to the jury.
We at the Webb Law Firm make it a priority to keep up with the most recent studies and treatises on breath testing, especially how it relates to physiology and biology, in defense of those accused of a DUI. Call today to find out more about how the government's machine is being used in a false manner each and every time.
Call us today! (425) 398-4323 to speak with Seattle's Premier DUI Defense Attorney.
About the author: In his 10 plus years of practice, Seattle DUI Attorney, Nate Webb, has been repeatedly named a Super Lawyer Rising Star by Washington Law and Politics Magazine and a Top Attorney for DUI Defense by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine and has numerous Not Guilty DUI verdicts and dismissals under his belt.