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Everyone wants to beat the breathalyzer

Everyone wants to beat the breathalyzer

It’s surprising to us but it seems that everyone wants to beat the breathalyzer. When we go to parties and events its one of the first things we’re asked. It’s odd. But what does it mean?

It’s not wrong to want to know where you stand. It’s not wrong to want to ensure that any breath tests give results that allow you the benefit of the doubt.

On the one hand it’s an important consideration. Are breathalyzers accurate? Can you beat the breathalyzer? Is it possible to mislead or screw up this important investigative tool such that you might dupe the system and escape detection for committing a crime?

On the other hand it discloses fundamental fears. Is the system unfair such that I face punishment and someone else can pass undetected? Will I be the one fool who blows over just because I don’t know the trick? Am I really over the limit?

The fact that seemingly everyone wants to beat the breathalyzer is an interesting window on humanity and particularly our place in our society. But more than anything it reveals fears based on a misapprehension of how much alcohol you can reasonably drink and still be legal. In other words, people are understandably concerned about driving after consuming any alcohol whatsoever. The desire to “beat the breathalyzer” may very well be the expression of a misplaced fear of breaking the law.

Would you care if you were under?

Would you care about “beating the breathalyzer” if you KNEW you were under the legal limit? What about if you knew you were under the legal limit and you KNEW the results would be reliable? At that point it shouldn’t matter. Who cares about beating the breathalyzer if you’re innocent and the breathalyzer will show it? Certainly not you and me.

The point is we don’t know these two variables. People don’t know if they’re actually under the legal limit and if the tests will show that. Which seems to be why everyone wants to know how to beat the breathalyzer.

We beat the breathalyzer

Long ago we figured how to beat the breathalyzer in a certain respect and we explained it here on our blog. Some people were upset by our blog post because they thought we were encouraging people to game the system. Others were intrigued by the fact that so much depends on human variables that are subject to the vagaries of biology. And a couple of people just ripped off our post, wrote articles and didn’t give us any credit.

Most of the police officers who read the blog post were worried about all of those people who may have blown over because they were nervous at the roadside. Some have encouraged drivers to take a few deep breaths when they blow.

For us it was important to expose the issue of breathing patterns when it comes to breath test results. We feel that it’s in the public interest to obtain fair results and from what we can tell our method of obtaining the lowest results is more in keeping with ensuring innocent people are not wrongfully punished. Moreover, our method of “beating the breathalyzer” is scientifically valid.

Think about this:

Averages and breath tests

The amount of alcohol expelled from your breath is what breathalyzers measure. They operate on an assumption that 2.1 liters of your breath will have the same amount of alcohol as you would find in 1 cubic centimeter of your blood.

Did anyone draw your blood to see if 2100 to 1 is your breath to blood ratio? Was your breath to blood ratio consistent over the hours, weeks, days, minutes? Is it the same today as last week? Is it the same for you as your neighbour who was born in Ireland and who drinks 5 pints of beer every Saturday night? Is there a human on the planet who is actually Mr. 2100:1?

Nope. Breathalyzers work on an average with questionable heritage.

If you’re above average, your actual blood alcohol concentration may be higher than what the breath tester displays. If you’re lower than average, it may display a reading that is higher than the actual blood-alcohol concentration in your body.

Simply put, nobody is 2100:1 at all times. But breathalyzers function on the basis of this fiction.

Is it wrong that everyone wants to beat the breathalyzer?

If you’re gambling, i.e. drinking until you think you might be impaired or near the limit, it’s wrong. We encourage people to stay well below the limit. If you want to test yourself in our office to find our how much you can drink and stay well below the limit, give us a call to arrange to test yourself. Better safe than sorry.

It’s not wrong to want to know where you stand. It’s not wrong to want to ensure that any breath tests give results that allow you the benefit of the doubt. It’s not wrong to ask to be treated fairly.

So to everyone who wants to beat the breathalyzer, we will continue to answer your questions and explain as well as we can what you need to do if you’re faced with the prospect of a police breathalyzer.

And to those police officers who recognize that citizens deserve the benefit of the lowest reading, we congratulate you for incorporating an advanced understanding of humanity, the human condition and natural justice into your dealings with drivers in British Columbia.

After all, fair is fair.

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