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Should You Take a Breath or Blood Test in a DUI?


If you’re stopped for driving under the influence of alcohol, should you take a blood test or a breath test? That’s a complicated question, and I’m going to explain my hopefully less complicated answer.

If you take a breath test, the police will know immediately if you are over the .08 legal limit. If that is the case they will take your license right on the spot. Now, you might be thinking, “If I get pulled over for DUI then I should take a blood test”. That’s not necessarily true.

It does take a while for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (although a shorter time Henderson Police Department) to get your blood results. The problem is that you will lose your license at some point in the future if your results are over .08.

From a criminal standpoint, these are much harder cases to defend because the breath machine (the Intoxilyzer 8000) is far more inaccurate. For example: Let’s say you’re told to blow into the machine. You’re supposed to stop at the time that the machine stops with the tone. There’s a beep that you hear, and the officer is supposed to tell you to stop blowing, but a lot of officers think that the machine is automatic and will incorrectly stop recording your breath after the tone stops. These machines are susceptible to all kinds of operator errors.

Let’s say that you’re blowing into the machine and you stop at a .06. The tone stops, but the officer tells you to continue to blow. Well if you do, that machine is going to record you at possibly .08. It will continue to rise and you will get an inaccurate reading.

Yes, you do lose your license immediately but of course, you can fight it and have a DMV hearing and sometimes win at the DMV level.

Alternatively, if you take a blood test it will be a while before they actually try to take your license, but it’s a harder case to defend on the criminal side.

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI don’t hesitate to give us a call. Come sit down with us in person, or if you’re calling from out of state, let’s talk over the phone about how we can help you. 

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