The California Supreme Court has ruled that suspected drunken drivers can attack the accuracy of roadside breath test results in some cases.
The unanimous high court decision issued Thursday acknowledged that Breathalyzer results mean different things for different drivers.
The tests determine the amount of alcohol in the breath and then, using a scientific formula, converts that figure into an estimation of alcohol in the blood. The formula is one-size-fits all, but studies have shown that the breath-to-blood ratio varies widely among different people and even in the same person depending on such factors as health, menstrual cycle and even the weather.
Lawyers says juries in several other states already are allowed to consider the test's variability.