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What does a chemical sobriety test do?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | DUI

A chemical sobriety test helps the police gather evidence if they suspect a driver is drunk. The police often ask drivers to submit samples for a chemical sobriety test after the police have asked them questions and had them perform field sobriety tests. The way a chemical sobriety test works is that it evaluates a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), which is the amount of alcohol found in the body at the time of testing.

There are three kinds of chemical sobriety tests. The most commonly known test is the breath test. A breath test is done by having a person blow into a small device with a tube. After a few seconds, the machine will display the driver’s BAC levels. Alternatively, a driver could go to a hospital to have their urine or blood tested.

If any of these tests show that a driver’s BAC levels are above the legal limit, they could be charged for drunk driving and, if convicted, penalized with a license suspension, fines and incarceration. However, these tests are not always accurate. Here is what you should know:

Which chemical sobriety test is the most accurate?

Many people do breath tests because they are the most convenient. Many officers carry breath test machines with them. However, that does not make the breath test the most accurate. Something as simple as breath mints, gums or breath freshener could increase a BAC reading on a breath test. That is because many of these products can contain traces of alcohol.

Urine tests often rate the lowest when tested for accuracy. Out of all three tests blood tests are the most accurate. However, lab errors and contamination could lead to inaccurate results. Suspects may need to reach out for legal help to challenge a sobriety test.