Is it legal for cops to use the same mouthpeice to breathalize multiple people?

Asked on August 23, 2011 Arizona


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is nothing illegal under any criminal statute for any state that I have seen preventing law enforcement from using the same "breathing apparatus" to do breath analysis of multiple individuals for rest purposes to determine if someone was driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

However, from a practical application and a defense position, the use of the same "breathing apparatus" to do breath analysis of multiple individuals from a legal standpoint has the distinct possibilty of cross "contamination" of the results where residual traces of alcohol remain in the breathing device after each test if the same device is used for multiple tests. The result could very well create a "false positive" of a high test result for driving under the influence of alcohol where if a sterile device was used, there would not be a positive test result.

Good question.

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