Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in DUI Cases
Defense from Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney
In order to have an objective test of DUI, legislators across the country
(including Florida) have adopted laws that define having a blood alcohol
content (BAC) of or over 0.08 percent as creating a presumption of drunk
driving. BAC can be tested by the use of
breath tests, blood tests and urine tests. The most common method by far is the breath
test due to its ease of use and speed of result. However, as a Jacksonville
DUI defense attorney can demonstrate in court, the breath test is subject
to many errors in administration and is hardly a reliable test of BAC.
Blood tests and urine tests as well have points of unreliability. If you
are charged with a
DUI based on high BAC, you are urged to seek legal help to defend your rights.
What is blood alcohol content?
As a cornerstone of many DUI cases, it is important to recognize what BAC
is exactly. Essentially, BAC refers to the amount of alcohol that is in
a person's blood at any given moment; this is the most common scientific
measure of a person's level of intoxication. When someone states that
a defendant had BAC of 0.10 percent, it means that there were 0.10 grams
of alcohol per 100 grams of blood. BAC, however, will differ depending
on the person. It can take different people different amounts of alcohol
to reach the same BAC.
Factors such as time spent drinking, type of alcohol, body weight and more
can all play into BAC. For example, if a 120 pound female drinks three
glasses of wine in one hour, she will have an estimated BAC of 0.09 percent.
If a 200 pound man drinks the same amount of wine over the same time frame,
he may only have a BAC of 0.04 percent. This is just a hypothetical situation,
but it does demonstrate how different factors can all affect differences
in BAC. Regardless of how much it takes to reach a certain BAC level though,
once a person reaches it, certain effects may be experienced.
Effects of alcohol at different BAC levels is explained below:
0.010 – 0.029: Most individuals will appear normal.
0.020 – 0.059: Most individuals will be relaxed, happy and talkative. Some will have difficulty
concentrating on tasks.
0.06 – 0.09: Most individuals will have decreased inhibitions and be more extroverted
than normal. They may struggle with reasoning, as well as depth perception
or their peripheral vision.
0.10 – 0.19: Most individuals will begin to over-express themselves and may experience
violent mood swings. They may struggle with their reflexes and reaction
times, resulting in staggering and slurring their speech. They may also
have problems with their motor control.
Breath Test: An Unreliable Test of BAC
If you take a breath test, it does not directly measure the concentration
of alcohol in your blood. Rather, it tests the concentration of alcohol
in your breath and then by a calculation estimates blood alcohol concentration.
As there are many variables that can contribute to the alcohol present
in your breath, the test often gives an incorrect answer. Below are a
number of questions that an experienced attorney may ask as they work
to build a comprehensive defense on your behalf:
- Has the machine been recently calibrated?
- Did the officer tell you to keep blowing?
- Had you just finished drinking when you were stopped?
- Did you burp or belch during the testing process?
- Do you have a medical condition?
- Was the breath test machine adjusted for the temperature?
- Do you wear dentures, or have you recently had dental work?
Contact a Jacksonville DUI lawyer today!
At The Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., you have the benefit of
three former DUI prosecutors with over 90 years of combined legal experience.
As former DUI prosecutors having used breath test to make our cases, we
know intimately their points of unreliability. We also know how blood
tests and urine tests can fail to show correct BAC. We use this knowledge
and experience to defend our clients charged with DUI and are accomplished
at obtaining dismissals and acquittal of charges.
No matter the exact charges you find yourself facing, we encourage you to
contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your defense.