Are women at a disadvantage in DUI breath testing?

Does the DUI breath test discriminate against women?

Washington DUI lawyer Ziad Youssef, founder of mytrafficman.net, has been researching this topic for several months. What he’s discovered is that the DUI machine that all drivers submit to after being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol should adjust breath results based on factors like sex, height, weight and more, but does not.

“Washington uses the breath test to predict the level of alcohol in someone’s blood, but the breath test instruments do not adjust for physiological differences between people of different sexes or ages, for example,” Youssef says.

Smaller lung capacity can affect results

This is important because in the research article Sex Differences in Respiratory Function, the authors explained the differences they discovered between respiratory systems of men and women, and concluded that statistically, women do have a smaller respiratory system, meaning a smaller lung capacity than men.

And, according to researchers Michael P. Hlastala and Joseph C. Anderson, the smaller lung capacity can have an effect on the results of a breathalyzer test.

Specifically, when the alcohol breath test is being administered, the subject is asked to inhale ambient air and then exhale into the breath test a minimum of 1.5 liters of air. According to the statistics, in order to satisfy the 1.5 liter minimum requirement, a female driver with smaller lung capacity would have to exhale deeper into her lungs than a male driver of the same height, weight and age.

Exaggerated readings possible

Youssef argues that requiring females to blow deeper into their lung capacity than men is unlawful discrimination because, according to the article Physiological Aspects of Breath-Alcohol Measurements, the majority of the alcohol exhaled from the lungs comes from the deeper section of one’s lungs.

“In other words, the closer a person is to reaching the end of their total lung capacity, the more concentrated the results will be, and that means a higher breath test reading will result,” Youssef says.

“Consequently, women are put in greater jeopardy of giving an exaggerated reading.”

Youssef suggests that if the State wants to know what intoxicants are in a driver’s blood, they shouldn’t estimate it from breath, they should justify a warrant to the judge like the 4th Amendment requires and perform a blood test.

To learn more about the research or your DUI arrest, call 360-734-0908.

More in Marketplace

5 ways to foster a positive cannabis shopping experience

Local pros share what you need to know

Carmen Miller, front of house lead at Remedy Tulalip, shares his knowledge and passion for the wellness possibilities cannabis can offer.
Passion to help drives Remedy team’s mission

Discover what it means to live happy and live healthy

Can your lead foot help the library? YES: Slow Down and Read!

Annual MyTrafficMan initiative supports Whatcom County Library Foundation

Every day is Drug Take-Back Day in Snohomish County

Take Back Your Meds: The easy and effective solution for unused medications

Local Students Engineering Smart Solutions for Boeing

Collaborative robotics, haptic alert systems for hearing-impaired employees and riveting safety —… Continue reading

Everybody wins in Boeing’s energy-reduction battle

There is nothing like a little friendly competition to show how when… Continue reading

New one-stop shop in Marysville for cannabis consumers

Tulalip Tribes bring you expertise on a wide variety of cannabis products

Boeing inspires the next generation of engineers and technologists

Thousands of young students benefit from company volunteers’ teaching in STEM subjects

Boeing’s 737 MAX 7 takes center stage in 2018

Aircraft to be produced at Boeing’s Renton factory on the shores of Lake Washington

Are women at a disadvantage in DUI breath testing?

Does the DUI breath test discriminate against women? Washington DUI lawyer Ziad… Continue reading

What you NEED to know about prescription opioids

Knowledge and correct use is essential for these highly addictive medications

Beat rising energy costs: solar power jumps in Snohomish County

Incentives and technology mean there’s no better time to switch to solar