Question: Can the way a person blows into a breath test machine impact the results in Alabama?
Answer: In Alabama, the breath testing machine that the police use is called the Draeger Alcotest 7110. It is a machine. It does what it is told by its software. For the machine to accept the breath sample, the client must provide at least 1.3 liters of air for a minimum blow time of four seconds. If these amounts are not met, the machine will not produce a result. Therefore, if a person does not blow hard enough or long enough, the machine will not produce a result, thereby setting up the potential for the officer to opine that the person refused. However, even though the machine won’t produce a result at the station, the Draeger Alcotest 7110 does capture all of the different data points of the test and store that at a mainframe computer at the Department of Forensic Sciences. We then have the ability under what’s called a Data Pack request to harvest that information and show that the person was actually attempting to take the test, and sometimes can even produce a number or result and show that it was not a refusal.
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