Ideas On How A Houston Breathalyzer Works
A breath alcohol test is something that tests your blood alcohol levels. When you consume alcohol, it travels through your body including in your stomach and to your small intestine. From there, it gets absorbed into your blood. This is where it gets carried into your brain, lungs, and rest of your body. You exhale vapors of it as you breathe out.
A breath alcohol test is something that measures how much alcohol exists in the air as you continue to breathe out. The actual device that is used measures how much alcohol exists in your blood. This can tell you what’s known as your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level.
This level can rise as early as 15 minutes after you consume alcoholic beverages. However, you’ll notice it most prominently around 1 hour after drinking.
Why Is This Test Used?
As your Blood Alcohol Content increases, you can get increasingly confused, clumsy, and your reaction time can decrease significantly. It can cause you to make poor decisions, as well. All of these things can lead to you being dangerous behind the wheel.
If you happen to be speeding or involved in an accident or even driving recklessly, you’ll likely be suspected of driving while under the influence which is known as a “DUI.” If you’re pulled over and suspected of drinking while driving, they’ll want to conduct some tests on you. From there, you’ll be given a Breathalyzer test that will give an accurate measurement of your Blood Alcohol Content level.
Are There Different Types Of Tests?
You’ll find there are manual and electronic tests that you may have to take. A lot of the police force uses an electronic device that is typically the size of a normal walkie-talkie. With this device, you will be asked to blow into a mouthpiece. From there, it’ll give an immediate reading of what your Blood Alcohol Content level is. You are likely going to be asked to do it several times to get an average. That way, they can ensure it’s reading properly each time. It doesn’t take long at all.
One of the most common manual tests that you might be asked to take would include a balloon and a glass tube that is full of yellow crystals. You’ll be asked to blow into the balloon and the air will be released in the tube. If you have a lot of alcohol in your system, the bands of the crystals will change from yellow to green. The more alcohol that exists in your system, the more green they will be.
You’ll want to look at the instructions that come with the device to accurately read the results. Typically, one green band will mean that your BAC is under the legal limit of (.05%). However, if there are two bands, it would show that your BAC is anywhere from (.05%) to (.10%). If there are three green bands, it would imply that your BAC is well over (.10%).
You can get either one of these tests to have on your own if you are looking to see whether or not you are good to drive before getting behind the wheel. You’ll find the manual tests to be far less expensive.
Is It Completely Accurate?
These tests aren’t always the most accurate. There are a few things that could cause an error with the reading of the results.
For one, if you drank alcohol 15 minutes before taking the tests, you might have trace levels of alcohol directly in your mouth. This could end up leading to a higher reading than you might have. Also, if you smoke, it could cause issues with the accuracy of the results. You will also find other products that might contain alcohol like mouth wash and even gum to cause errors with readings.
You will also find machines erroring out because they need to be recalibrated or because the machine needs brand new batteries.
You’ll find that some of these machines have software that needs routine updates to ensure it works properly.
The tests that the police officers typically carry use fuel cell technology which makes them the most accurate. However, no Breath reading test is going to be nearly as accurate as urine or even a blood test.
Things That Can Affect The BAC Levels
You’ll find that your BAC will be directly affected by multiple things:
How Much You Weigh
This is one of the biggest factors. If you weigh a lot, you’re going to have more water present in your body. The more water you have in your body, the more diluted the alcohol gets. This is why larger people can typically tolerate more alcohol.
What Gender You Are
Your gender is another thing that can impact your BAC. Alcohol affects men and women differently. A lot of men have more of a stomach enzyme that is capable of breaking down alcohol better. Therefore, they are typically faster at processing the alcohol. Whereas, women usually have more fat and less water in their bodies. Therefore, they process it less quickly and there are hormonal changes that women have that can also affect their BAC level.