In California and across the United States, breath tests may no longer constitute accurate ways to measure whether drivers are inebriated while driving their vehicles. A recent New York Times report mentioned that approximately 30,000 breath tests were not used in court because of their inaccuracies. Sometimes, the breath tests are not even properly calibrated, which often results in inaccurate readings. The thorough investigation involved interviews with more than 100 attorneys, business executives, law enforcement officers and scientific researchers.
California residents may be interested in learning about a condition that can, in essence, turn the human body into a brewery. Doctors were working with a patient who constantly had elevated blood alcohol levels. However, the patient denied ever drinking alcohol. Research led to the discovery of a condition known as auto brewery syndrome, or ABS. This condition leaves the body's gastrointestinal system to turn carbohydrates that are ingested into alcohol.
Police officers in California and around the country may soon be issued with portable devices that are able to detect the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties in a breath sample, but legal experts and scientists are not convinced that the results of these tests will be of any real value. One of the THC breath-testing devices currently being tested uses nanotubes thousands of times smaller than a human hair to detect THC. Its developers say that it will only return a positive result when marijuana has been consumed recently, but even that may not be enough to support an impaired driving charge.
When law enforcement in California initiates a traffic stop for any reason, the officer will check for signs of violations when investigating. This is true even if the stop was unrelated to suspected driving under the influence. If there are signs or evidence of a driver who is intoxicated, it will likely lead to an arrest. One reason for an arrest to be made is if there is an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.
The California Highway Patrol believes that a 24-year-old San Joaquin Valley man was drunk and speeding when his GMC pickup truck ran through a stop sign in Tulare County and struck a Pontiac sedan on the night of May 12. The 75-year-old woman behind the wheel of the Pontiac and her 67-year-old female passenger lost their lives in the crash. The man also suffered serious injuries in the accident and was rushed by paramedics to the Kaweah Delta Medical Center. He faces a raft of charges including vehicular manslaughter and DUI involving an injury.
Some Californians are on the keto diet in an effort to lose weight or manage diabetes. The keto diet involves following a strict low-carb regimen so that the body will go into ketosis. During ketosis, the body burns fat for fuel in the absence of carbohydrates. While the keto diet is popular, it might also cause people to have false positives on roadside preliminary breath tests when police suspect that the driver is under the influence.
A bill proposed by a California lawmaker would lower the legal blood alcohol content in the state to .05 percent from the current level of .08 percent. However, lobbying groups do not support the proposed change to the law. The American Beverage Institute says that the law would do nothing but target responsible social drinkers.
Football fans in California may have seen P.J. Williams most recently when his New Orleans Saints were beaten by the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game. However, they may not know that the promising 25-year-old cornerback was taken into custody for driving drunk after being pulled over by police in Louisiana during the early morning hours of Jan. 23. Media accounts of the incident reveal that this is not the first time Williams has been accused of getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
A California state law requiring people who are convicted of DUIs to install ignition interlock mechanisms in their vehicles went into effect on Jan. 1. The law was signed by the governor in 2016. In order to get back their privileges to drive, people who have DUI convictions will have to install the devices, which are essentially a Breathalyzer connected to the vehicle's ignition system, preventing the car from starting if the driver has been drinking.
More DUI offenders in California will soon be required to submit to and pass a breath test (breathalyzer) before starting their vehicles. Starting in 2019, a pilot program that started in certain Golden State counties will be expanded statewide because of a bill that was passed with unanimous support. The new law requires first-time DUI offenders involved in incidents that resulted in injuries to use an ignition interlock device (IID) that only allows a vehicle to be started if a breath test is passed.