What are some defenses to a failed breath test in North Carolina?
There are a lot of defenses to a breath result that is over the legal limit. The breath test machine used by North Carolina is the Intox EC/IR II. This piece of equipment is far from accurate, and the law related to the admissibility of its results has a statutory allowable measure of uncertainty. To begin with, the machine is calibrated on the assumption that everyone has a 2,100 to 1 breath to blood ratio. The problem is that everyone’s ratio is different, and a person’s own ratio varies from time to time, even from day to day. So if a person’s actual ratio is lower than the machine’s built in ratio, that means the machine’s results are artificially high, and the piece of equipment has no way of detecting this error. In addition, the actual sample size of a person’s breath can vary and the machine’s assumptions don’t account for this variant. Even a one degree change in a person’s breath temperature can skew the result as much as seven percent. The device’s results can be skewed by many other factors such as mouth alcohol, improper maintenance and even from breathing patterns.