Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can mean some severe punishments are coming your way. You may be facing jail time, expensive fees and fines, community service, the loss of driving privileges, and more. Getting professional legal help is vital during this time to help you deal with the ramifications of this accusation. Read on to learn about just one of many legal defenses to a DUI charge.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
The BAC test is considered the gold standard throughout the United States when it comes to identifying the presence of alcohol in a subject. In most cases, drivers can be arrested for a BAC of .08% or more. This test, despite the name, measures the amount of alcohol (or actually, ethanol) that is metabolized in the air you exhale. The more ethanol, the higher the BAC will read. You may be considered impaired at a reading of below .08%, but you are not likely to be arrested for DUI. Instead, you may be asked to have another person drive you home.
The Fluctuating Blood Alcohol Issue
Nearly every roadside sobriety test administered by law enforcement can be challenged in court and the BAC is no exception. The fluctuating blood alcohol issue centers around the changes in the levels of alcohol the test picks up. BAC readings can vary from minute to minute—it is always in motion, rising and then falling. A reading at any given time will vary and when you are testing such small percentages of blood alcohol concentrations in the breath, a BAC might result in readings that have you both over the limit and under the limit in a short period of time.
The Rising Blood Alcohol Issue
The timing of the BAC test can make a difference in the detectable levels of alcohol in the blood. There is nearly always a delay before the BAC is affected. That means that a driver who had a drink and began driving right away may test at below the legal limit if done immediately. This also means that the driver who is tested above the legal limit might have actually been below the limit when they were driving. The metabolized ethanol level did not rise to an illegal limit until the driver had been stopped and the delay may have been enough to cause the level to rise.
Your Defense Strategy
Challenging the results of all roadside sobriety tests takes on a high priority for your criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will attempt to show that you were not driving impaired and that your BAC level only rose after you were stopped and tested. If it has been hours since your last drink, this defense won't work, however. An expert who understands the effects of alcohol on the findings of the BAC measurement may be called to testify on your behalf.
Your DUI case can be complicated and complex and requires a criminal defense attorney who is ready to fight for justice.