EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE


SALT LAKE CITY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE


SALT LAKE CITY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

UTAH DUI BREATH TEST & BLOOD TEST INFORMATION

The two primary ways to measure the amount of alcohol in someone’s blood are breath testing and blood testing. Utah police officers use two methods of breath testing—portable breath tests (PBTs) and Breathalyzer® or Intoxilyzer machines. Typically, during a DUI investigation, after asking you to perform field sobriety tests, the officer will ask you to take a portable breath test. This test will show whether there is any alcohol in your breath and give the officer a general indication of the amount. If you are arrested for DUI, you will be asked to take a more accurate breath test, called a Breathalyzer or an Intoxilyzer. If an officer cannot test your breath for some reason, or you refuse to take the test, an officer may perform a blood test, either with your consent, or by getting a warrant.

Portable Breath Tests (PBT)

The Portable Breath Test (PBT) is a small handheld device which can give a police officer a general idea of how much alcohol someone has consumed. However, because portable breath tests are not 100% accurate, and they are designed to give an unverified reading of someone’s blood alcohol content (BAC), the specific results of a portable breath test are not admissible in court. A police officer can testify, however, about whether the result is positive or negative. Because a court cannot rely on a portable breath test to show whether someone is over the legal limit, a portable breath test alone is not enough to prove someone is driving under the influence. An officer must also obtain a breathalyzer test or blood test.

Breathalyzer® / Intoxilyzer Machines

If you fail the field sobriety tests (FSTs) and the portable breath test (PBT) shows positive for alcohol, you will probably be arrested for DUI. Once you are arrested, the police officer will usually take you back to the police station to take a breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer test to get a more accurate reading of your blood alcohol content.

A breathalyzer is a machine that is used to measure a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) by measuring the amount of alcohol vapor contained in that person’s lungs. There are multiple types of “Breathalyzer” machines. The breath testing machines used by Utah police are called the Intoxilyzer 5000 and the Intoxilyzer 8000. These machines use spectrometer (light-based) instruments to measure alcohol vapor in lungs, then the machines estimate how much alcohol must be in the blood to produce that much vapor.

Because Intoxilyzer machines do not test the blood directly, and must use calculations based on averages, they are not completely accurate for many people. If you weigh less than average of if you blew into the machine for longer than average, then the Intoxilyzer will probably show a higher amount of alcohol than is actually in your blood. Intoxilyzer machines may also give incorrect readings for people who have diabetes, acid reflux, or other medical conditions. Other things, like alcohol residue in the mouth or radio waves may also interfere with the readings. Or, if the machine itself is not calibrated correctly, its readings may not be accurate.

A dedicated criminal defense attorney can examine the facts of your case and determine whether there are problems with your breathalyzer results.

Utah Blood Testing

A blood test is the most accurate type of DUI test used by Utah law enforcement. Usually, an officer will not administer a blood test unless someone is unable or unwilling to take a Breathalyzer test. When an officer does a blood test for alcohol, a police technician will take a certain amount of blood, mark and seal it in a vial, and send it to the lab to be tested. Blood tests can take several weeks to several months to be processed. Although no science is 100% accurate, the courts view most blood test results as extremely reliable.

Utah law requires police to follow several procedures in order to assure that DUI blood tests are not tainted. If the police do not follow the correct procedures for drawing the blood, marking the blood, transporting the blood, and testing the blood, then the government may be prohibited from using those results in court.

DUI Lawyers at Intermountain Legal

Intermountain Legal has experienced DUI attorneys who have handled thousands of DUI cases in Salt Lake City and all of Northern Utah. When we take a case, our attorneys immediately gather the evidence against you to determine the strength of your case. If you have a strong defense, we have the DUI trial experience to win your case at trial. Our firm has a former prosecutor who trained directly with police officers on how to perform Utah field sobriety tests. From this experience, he learned the most common mistakes made by police officers in the field and how to expose those mistakes in trial.

If the case is solid against you, we will negotiate to minimize the consequences and find the best solution for you. Because we have experience on the other side, we know what judges and prosecutors are looking for, and we will help you make the best decisions every step of the way.


Our Other Services

Contact Our Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys

To contact our DUI lawyers for a free consultation, call 801-970-2800 or fill out our quick contact form.


START BUILDING YOUR WINNING CASE TODAY

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

STEVEN K. BURTON

As a former prosecutor Steven gained an intimate knowledge of various Domestic Violence Courts, DUI courts and other criminal court programs and procedures. He has spent over 3,500 hours in court and has argued more cases than most attorneys do in a lifetime. For more on Steve's experience, click here.

JUSTIN PRATT

Attorney Justin S. Pratt handles all types of criminal cases, with an emphasis on DUI-related charges. He believes that someone who is charged with a crime deserves the specialized attention of an attorney who will protect his client's rights by taking the time to examine constitutional issues, important factual circumstances, and any other crucial factors that may be relevant to the case. For more on Justin's experience, click here.

STACI VISSER

Staci has represented clients in nearly every type of criminal case, from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. She has an excellent reputation with her clients and they have repeatedly recommended her to their friends and family. She also practices criminal appeals and family law. For more on Staci's experience, click here.

MARK LAROCCO

Mark is skilled at dealing with all aspects of family law, including helping clients obtain modifications, enforce court orders, and achieve fair custody and support awards. Going through a painful divorce or a custody battle can be one of the most difficult times in someone’s life, and Mark is there to help every step of the way. For more on Mark's experience, click here.

MATTHEW BELL

Matthew's reputation as an attorney is one who thoroughly understands the law and diligently advocates to advance his client's interests. His practice primarily focuses on representing clients in family law matters. He has assisted hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, guardianship, and termination of parental rights cases. For more on Matthew's experience click here.

ELLY HENDRIKSEN

Elly is a skilled attorney who specializes in divorce and criminal law. Spending the majority of her career in the courtroom, Elly understands how to effectively advocate for her clients who find themselves in the toughest of situations. Elly has successfully guided clients through trials and difficult hearings in front of judges and commissioners, and has expertly negotiated cases through hundreds of hours of mediation. For more on Elly's experience click here.

STEVEN K. BURTON

As a former prosecutor Steven gained an intimate knowledge of various Domestic Violence Courts, DUI courts and other criminal court programs and procedures. He has spent over 3,500 hours in court and has argued more cases than most attorneys do in a lifetime. For more on Steve's experience, click here.

 
JUSTIN PRATT

Attorney Justin S. Pratt handles all types of criminal cases, with an emphasis on DUI-related charges. He believes that someone who is charged with a crime deserves the specialized attention of an attorney who will protect his client's rights by taking the time to examine constitutional issues, important factual circumstances, and any other crucial factors that may be relevant to the case. For more on Justin's experience, click here.

 
STACI VISSER

Staci has represented clients in nearly every type of criminal case, from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. She has an excellent reputation with her clients and they have repeatedly recommended her to their friends and family. She also practices criminal appeals and family law. For more on Staci's experience, click here.

 
MARK LAROCCO

Mark is skilled at dealing with all aspects of family law, including helping clients obtain modifications, enforce court orders, and achieve fair custody and support awards. Going through a painful divorce or a custody battle can be one of the most difficult times in someone’s life, and Mark is there to help every step of the way. For more on Mark's experience, click here.

 
MATTHEW BELL

Matthew's reputation as an attorney is one who thoroughly understands the law and diligently advocates to advance his client's interests. His practice primarily focuses on representing clients in family law matters. He has assisted hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, guardianship, and termination of parental rights cases. For more on Matthew's experience click here.

 
ELLY HENDRIKSEN

Elly is a skilled attorney who specializes in divorce and criminal law. Spending the majority of her career in the courtroom, Elly understands how to effectively advocate for her clients who find themselves in the toughest of situations. Elly has successfully guided clients through trials and difficult hearings in front of judges and commissioners, and has expertly negotiated cases through hundreds of hours of mediation. For more on Elly's experience click here.