How Aaron Bortel, Esq Prepares To Defend Your DUI Charges: What Details Are Important to Your Defense?
Interviewer: You remarked on jogging people’s memory with specifics. How has it helped you to have these machines in your office? Does it literally help you come up with defenses or jog people’s memory?
Aaron: Actually, it’s very interesting, and I’ll explain what we have done in my office. I’ve tested a number of people to see at what rate they are absorbing and at what rate they are eliminating. And we can have them blow into this machine every five, ten, fifteen minutes or so and keep track of their burn off rate, their absorption rate, and it actually helps people see that not everybody is the same.
And it helps for clients to see that. Just seeing the machine may jog their memory, “Oh yes I remember that mouthpiece” and I can ask them “What do you remember about the mouthpiece” or “Was it in plastic?” Because the police are supposed to use a different mouthpiece for each test and very often they do not.
So that’s something that can be brought up. I can have a client looking at these machines that can remember details about them. They may say, “Oh, I remember the read out, they showed that to me.” That may be on the evidential machine at the station or on the preliminary machine in the field. This can help with the defense.
If a client can remember more, that gives me more pertinent information to build different defenses and to fight their case. And to try and save their license and keep them from getting convicted or to try and get charges reduced if we cannot avoid a conviction.
Do Breathalyzer Machines Read A Person’s Blood-Alcohol Level Accurately?
Interviewer: You said the differences in the machine treats everyone the same. So, it assumes that anyone that blows into the machine will have a reading that corresponds to an accurate level of alcohol in his or her blood, is that right?
Aaron: That’s correct. It does a conversion.
Interviewer: So how much of a difference have you seen? Like let’s say you have a 110-pound woman come in and a 300-pound man, like how much of a difference will the read out show? Are you able to determine the variability of the machine?
Aaron: The difference in size of people is not necessarily where we’re getting the differences. The differences are usually in the absorption rates and timing of the absorption.
Someone who is still absorbing alcohol, like I said before, is going to blow higher than they actually are, and that’s because there’s a higher concentration of alcohol coming from the lungs, which are more saturated with alcohol.
When your system has fully absorbed the alcohol, the alcohol has gone through your entire system and it’s in your brain. That’s when you’re going to have impairment, when you have too much alcohol that has gone to your brain.
What we’re looking at here is someone who’s had a drink 10, 20, 30 minutes or so or more right before they are driving. Their systems are going to still, in most cases, be absorbing, especially if they have food in their system. They are going to potentially be blowing higher than they actually are.
By Aaron Bortel
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