Ed Shaw Law - Brainerd Attorney
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Coronavirus Impact and Assurance: Yes! We are still open for business!

As you are all aware, we are currently facing unique challenges due to the Coronavirus. While this is a serious crisis, it is important to keep it in perspective, and not allow it to prevent us from going about our business. We want to assure all of our clients that this office is prepared to serve your needs, regardless of what happens and how the virus affects Minnesota. In an effort to keep the office safe, we have stepped up prevention and sanitation measures in hopes to prevent disease transmission.

Because we are a paperless office, our entire staff is prepared to work from home if necessary. No matter what happens, we will continue to provide our clients with the highest quality legal services.  So far, not one client or staff member has become infected based on contact at this office and we will continue with safety protocols in an attempt to keep it that way. My office will continue to put the safety of our staff and you as our top priority. We do greatly appreciate your cooperation in conducting business in a safe fashion by utilizing current technology. Regardless of what happens, we will continue to take care of all of your legal needs.

Please rest assured, we will continue to take care of your legal needs in this challenging time, and your safety is our highest priority.

Please see our blog for more info on pandemic response.

Factors that can affect breath test results

| Nov 18, 2020 | Drunk Driving Defense

Law officers in Minnesota and throughout the United States often use breath test devices as a way to determine whether someone is driving while intoxicated. Drivers who have a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or higher can be arrested and charged with a DUI in Minnesota.

However, studies show that breath test devices do not always yield accurate and reliable results. In some cases, breath test machines give elevated readings which could lead to a wrongful DUI arrest.

How do breath test devices work?

Breath test machines measure the amount of ethanol alcohol present in an exhaled breath sample. The device then converts this amount to a blood alcohol content level. According to the State University of New York at Potsdam, breath test readings can vary by more than 15% from the results from actual blood tests.

This is due to the fact that machines pick up more than just ethanol alcohol in the exhaled breath sample. They read other methyl structures that can be found in other substances.

What factors can alter breath test results?

Factors that can affect breath test device readings include the following:

  • Residual food, blood, vomit or drink in the mouth
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Dirt, pollution and fumes in the air
  • Relative humidity and temperature of the air
  • Electrical interference from police radios and cellphones
  • Inhaled fumes from gasoline, paint or paint thinner

Breath test devices must be calibrated properly and regularly in order to work correctly. Furthermore, officers must be trained on how to use the devices properly to maximize the accuracy of results.