All About BAC Tests
- in Laws
If you are drinking and driving in the United States and pulled over by an officer, more than likely you’ll be subjected to a BAC, or blood alcohol content, test.
You may require the service of a good bail bondsman because DUI offenders generally end up in jail. You are legally considered intoxicated if your BAC level is 0.08 percent or higher. In most states, the limit is lower if you are a young and inexperienced driver, a professional driver, or a commercial driver.
Methods of BAC testing
There are five different methods for testing the alcohol content in your blood. They are:
- Hair Follicles
Hair follicles or saliva tests are rarely ever used. The three most common types of testing are the breath test, urine test, or blood test. Breath tests, commonly known as breathalyzers, are used most often because they are portable, easy to carry, and provide immediate results. While the results of a breathalyzer aren’t always accurate, they are considered sufficient enough to admit into court.
False breath results
There are many factors that can cause your BAC to show a bit higher or lower than it actually is. For example, environmental factors like gasoline can cause the level to be off. The food you have recently eaten can increase the amount of time it takes for the alcohol level to reach it’s highest.
Many believe they can fool the BAC test by eating mints, drinking mouthwash, or eating onions. This doesn’t work, and mouthwash contains alcohol, so your level could increase if this is the route you choose. Medications that you take can also affect your BAC.
False blood tests
Blood tests are more accurate than others, but there are factors that can affect a blood test for alcohol levels. Coagulation, or blood clotting and becoming solid, is one factor that can have a different result than the true one. The medical facility not using proper sterilizing techniques or mixing up someone’s test with another are other factors affecting your blood alcohol test.
Urine alcohol testing isn’t used very often to determine intoxication because this test isn’t as accurate. The officer can’t perform a urine test on the side of the road, and the time waiting to get to the station can affect the BAC. Alcohol also can take up to two hours to get into the urine and remain there for up to twenty-four hours. In other words, this is no proof they were under the influence when they were stopped.
Reasons for BAC testing
The BAC test is performed to find out if you are driving while intoxicated, but there are other reasons for the test to be performed. If a person is in an altered state like confusion or a coma, a test may be needed to determine the reason. A test may be needed if a person prohibited from drinking is suspected of it such as a minor or someone enrolled in a treatment program.
Consequences of a high BAC level
The number of times you have had a DUI and the amount of your BAC will be factored in determining what your sentencing will be. If you refuse to take a BAC test, this can affect what the judge decides. Refusing testing can cause you to receive higher fines and a longer jail sentence than if you had taken the test and been found intoxicated. You can also receive suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
Some judges may require the defendant to attend DUI school or perform community service as part of their sentencing. Alcohol treatment programs, ignition interlock restrictions and forfeiting your vehicle are other forms of intervention.
If you are driving with a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher in the U.S., you will face a judge. BAC levels are basically rough estimates, and there are many factors that can affect your level. An experienced attorney knows what factors to look at to determine if your BAC level should be dismissed.
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