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An Overview of Arizona DUI Breath Test Laws

DUI Breath Test Laws:  Despite rules and regulations DUI breath tests results may prove to be inaccurate or invalid 

Arizona Laws Governing DUI Breath Tests  

Under A.R.S. 28-1324 the Director of the Department of Public Services (DPS) is responsible for adopting regulations for methods, and procedures for administering DUI breath tests.

The authority of the Director of DPS includes adoption of approved breath test devices; procedures intended to maintain and improve accuracy of breath test results; qualifications of the law enforcement personnel responsible for administering the breath test; and qualifications of the breath test instructors.

Approved Breath Testing Devices in Arizona

The following models have been approved for use in Official Breath Testing to determine Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

Under R13-10-103:  

  • Intoxilyzer Model 5000;
  • Intoxilyzer Model 5000EN;
  • RBT AZ;
  • Intoxilyzer Model 8000

Other devices may also be approved by the director if it qualifies after successful testing; and fall within the guidelines of Standard Operational and Quality Assurance Procedures. These devices may be used while pending amendments being made to this section, but will expire after three years if not added to the rules.

This section also includes the criteria which govern devices approved for use in Preliminary Breath Testing (PBT) purposes.

The devices and models listed above to conduct official breath tests may also be used to conduct Preliminary Breath Tests.

Additionally, if the Department finds that a device, breath test method or procedure is unreliable, or inaccurate, or has been discontinued for use in Arizona, for testing BAC it is required to disapprove it in writing, and make adjustments to this rule. 

Standards for Use of a Breath Test Device

There are three standards of performance that must be met, before they can be approved as official breath testing devices:

  • Breath specimens tested must be composed of alveolar substance, (involving exchange of air and gases in lungs for respiration;
  • Must be capable of analyzing BAC with an error ratio of no more than .005 grams per 210 liters of breath or equal to 5 % whichever is greater; and contain a precision limit with an average standard deviation of no more than   .0042 grams per 210 liters of breath.  These capabilities will be measured on the basis of analyzing 10 consecutive breaths within specified measurements. These include 4 alcohol vapor concentrations between .020 and.350 grams per 210 liters of breath.  They should include  at least one value less than .100 and one value greater than .250;
  • Must be capable of testing a breath sample that results in alcohol concentrations of less than .01 grams per 210 liters of breath when alcohol-free persons are tested.

The approved methods for use by a device itself to determine BAC must be infrared spectrophotometry and detection of specific fuel cells.

Criminal Defense Attorney for DUI Charges in Gilbert AZ

Despite rules and regulations of breath devices, there is much room for errors in test results that may occur. Inconsistencies and inaccuracies may occur due to errors in administration of the test; processing; or lack of maintenance and calibration of the machine. If you were arrested based on breath testing evidence, you should consult a criminal defense attorney to discuss your matter. There may be defenses you are not aware of that will lead to suppression of invalid or unreliable evidence. When material evidence by the prosecution is suppressed it weakens the state’s case against a defendant for DUI charges, which can lead to a dismissal. When retained, you attorney will determine if your constitutional rights were violated in anyway during the DUI investigation; and examine the results of the breath testing evidence and circumstances surrounding your arrest.