Breath analysis is by far the most commonly used method of testing for blood alcohol in DUI cases. While not as accurate or reliable as blood tests, it has generally been regarded as acceptably accurate for use in DUI investigations, if administered correctly. Colorado uses the Intoxilyzer 5000EN as the evidentiary breath testing device for all DUI-related breath tests in the state.
The fundamental principle behind "breathalyzer" technology is the partition ratio. The partition ratio is essentially the blood to breath conversion ratio. This is the ratio of the alcohol dissolved in the blood to the alcohol exhaled in the breath. The currently used blood/breath partition ratio is 2100:1. This ratio assumes that one milliliter of blood contains 2100 times more alcohol than one milliliter of breath.
The Intoxilyzer 5000EN and other breath-testing devices used around the country rely upon averages and assumptions that are not supported by science or fact. Thus, breath test results are highly inaccurate and unreliable and a properly trained Colorado DUI defense attorney will understand and know how to attack the test itself and the reliability of breath tests.
Not only does the Intoxilyzer 5000EN have technical flaws and use averages and estimates to calculate BACs, but all operators must undergo training and re-certifications in order to conduct breath tests on DUI suspects. The lack of training and officer error is very common and will cause breath test result errors and inflated results. For more information on the Intoxilyzer 5000EN and the Evidential Breath Alcohol Testing Program in Colorado, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website.
A detailed review of the prosecution's evidence and a request for specific records/discovery from the law enforcement agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment may reveal substantial problems with the breath alcohol test. Because of the scientific and evidentiary nature of breath alcohol testing, you need a Colorado DUI lawyer to defend your rights.
If you were arrested for a DUI and took a breath test, you only have seven (7) days to request your Express Consent hearing at the DMV. If you fail to request this hearing, you lose the right to a hearing and your license will undergo automatic revocation on day eight. For more information on the Intoxilyzer 5000EN, Colorado breath tests or requesting an Express Consent hearing contact Colorado's premier DUI defense law firm at 303-818-2448.