Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime that thousands of Americans are charged with each year. Most people know that a breathalyzer test is an essential piece of evidence in these cases. People driving erratically and unsafely can still be charged with a DUI even if they blow less than a .08 on a test.
Role of the breathalyzer
A breathalyzer is a tool that most people believe is a foolproof part of the DUI arrest process. This tool measures the blood alcohol content in a person at a particular time. By picking up on the alcohol in a person’s breath, the breathalyzer ensures that there is a record that they either did or did not drive while under the influence of alcohol.
The breathalyzer has become so important to driving law that there are often laws that require a driver to take the test under penalty of a criminal charge. Since the breathalyzer is used to convict most people who are charged with driving under the influence, many people also believe that the opposite is true and that they will be released if their blood alcohol content does not meet the legal limit.
This interpretation of driving laws ignores the purpose of statutes designed to punish the act of driving under the influence. Those who drink and drive are putting other people in danger. If there is any sort of influence that puts other people in danger, a person can be charged by law enforcement with a DUI even if they are under the legal limit on a breathalyzer. The main difference is that the arresting officer has a higher burden of proof as they are trying to argue a case in court or in front of a judge.
They mainly have to rely on subjective information or analysis of a dashcam video in order to ensure that there is proof for their charge. In these cases, individuals may still go to jail and may still face charges. The process is just more difficult for the prosecution and for the law enforcement officer. Drivers should keep these possibilities in mind if they are ever considering driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.