Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Airbag Can Cause Falsely Elevated California DUI Breath Test

Scenario: California DUI Accident causing airbag to open

The Tyndall Effect causes False California DUI Breath Test Result

July 18, 2007


California DUI Accident causes airbag to deploy.

When an individual later blows into a breath machine using infrared
analysis like the Intoxilyzer, the talc and/or cornstarch is
introduced with the breath sample into the breath analysis chamber.

When the infrared light is shown through the chamber, the light is then
dispersed because of this "Tyndall Effect."

Ultimately, the California DUI Breath Test reading is highly erroneous. When attempting to qualify and quantify for ethyl alcohol, the reading is mistakenly wrong.

When the Intoxilyzer released its 5000 model in the 1980s, the airbag/Tyndall Effect was not a likely issue due to a lack of airbags in vehicles. However, with the mandates for airbags and expansion of their usage within the vehicle, the Tyndall Effect is a major factor in BrAC accuracy. Blood testing is the preferred, more appropriate method to combat the Tyndall Effect.

Individuals have reported regurgitating and spitting out the powdery airbag
substance for two to three hours and more. (See e.g. Andreas Madlung, The Chemistry
behind the Airbag: High Tech in First-Year Chemistry, 73 J.Chem.Educ. 347
(1996).) Epidemiological studies confirm the Tyndall effect - an airbag causes a falsely elevated breath test. Blood draws confirm the Tyndall effect in these studies.

A California Drunk Driving Attorney can help with this issue.