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Friday, November 21, 2008

Science Fail: Breathalyzers are Racist, Says Defense Lawyer

This lawyer sites some obscure unnamed study that claims Blacks have a 3% lower lung capacity than whites. Ergo, breathalyzers are racist.

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I suppose this is why Caucasians dominate the running events at the Olympics every year.

Anyway, while the devices that measure BAC can be faulty, the science behind them is not.

Alcohol doesn't digest-it's absorbed into the bloodstream directly, and must be processed by the liver or exhaled, and that takes time.

Have you ever drank so much (MoD, I'm looking at you) that the next day after your wake up, your breath STILL smells like booze? There is a reason for that. Ethanol is being leeched out of your blood when you exhale. It doesn't matter how many Altoids your suck or how much tea you drink. You can only expel the ethanol as fast as your liver and lungs will allow.

These devices measure how much air you are expelling, and what percentage of that air is vaporized ethanol. Sure if you took a drink or drank some NyQuil minutes before you took the test, the results may be skewed upwards. But the end result ain't because of racism.

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