The state of California has established strict regulations related to DUI. Anyone who gets arrested with DUI risks imprisonment and hefty fines depending on the nature of the offense. If you are in Granite Hills, CA, San Diego DUI Attorney will offer the best legal services that you need when you are arrested for DUI.
Definition of BAC Test
BAC is an acronym for Blood Alcohol Content. This is a measurement of the amount of alcohol that is in a driver’s bloodstream. It is expressed as a percentage, and the limits vary depending on the driver who has been arrested. The percentage implies the grams of alcohol that one has in every 100 milliliters of the user’s blood. The California BAC limits are as follows:
0.08% for a driver who is 21 years or older
0,01% for a driver who is under 21 years old
0,01% for someone who is under probation for DUI, despite the age
0,04% for a commercial driver with or without the Commercial Driver’s License
Factors that Influence the BAC Level of a Driver
Several factors can affect your BAC level. These factors vary according to the person consuming the alcohol and the circumstances surrounding the intake. Here is a detailed view of the factors that influence your BAC level.
Body Weight and Gender
An average man has 76 c.c of blood per kg of their body weight compared with the 66 c.c of blood per Kg in women. Men do not have a huge blood content only by their size, but due to their muscles as well. Their muscle tissues have more water than the fat tissues that women have. Therefore, you would expect men to get drunk slowly compared with women since alcohol can be diluted much faster due to their high blood and water content.
How Quickly You Drink
The liver metabolizes alcohol with a standard amount of drink every hour. Therefore, if you take more than one drink within an hour, the liver will not be able to keep up with the pace, meaning that more alcohol will circulate in the bloodstream before the liver catches up. The more alcohol you have in the blood, the higher your intoxication.
Based on popular belief, people believe that consuming alcohol at a high altitude will lead to fast intoxication. However, scientific studies would differ with such a decision since people living in high altitudes are expected to have more blood to accommodate the lack of enough oxygen. Therefore, with more blood, you would expect alcohol to be diluted at a fast rate.
Food Present in the Stomach
If you have food in the stomach, there are fewer chances of getting drunk compared with someone with an empty stomach. The stomach walls absorb about twenty percent of your food while the small intestine absorbs eighty percent. Therefore, you do not expect the small intestine to absorb alcohol since the pyloric valve will not allow entry to the small intestines.
Fatty foods are effective in slowing down alcohol absorption compared with carbohydrates, which are absorbed at a higher rate.
Type of Alcohol Mix
Taking a mix of water and fruit juice will slow down the alcohol absorption process. However, carbonated drinks will quicken the procedure since it goes through the stomach and intestinal walls much faster.
People who have taken alcohol for an extended period develop alcohol tolerance. One of the reasons behind this is that the liver develops the capacity to metabolize the alcohol faster. Keep in mind that the fact that you have a high alcohol intolerance does not mean that you are safe to drink alcohol and drive. It only means that it takes a lot of time for the intoxication signs to show up.
Medication such as aspirin intensifies the level of intoxication. Also, antidepressants and tranquilizers have the same effect on their users.
It is easy to disapprove of your BAC results based on the factors that affect the rise of alcohol content in your body. Your Granite Hills DUI attorney will provide a solid argument that will help in disapproving of the results presented in court based on the above-stated factors.
How to Measure BAC
BAC can be measured through a DUI breath or blood test. Both methods are considered reasonable if properly administered. Therefore, the results presented by the prosecutor are legally admissible in court unless your Granite Hills DUI attorney disapproves of them.
DUI Breath Test
This is the most common BAC test used in California. It has less invasive results and delivers instant results as well. In California, breath tests are categorized into two. This includes:
A pre-arrest test commonly known as Preliminary alcohol screening(PAS) test
Post-arrest DUI breath test
Before you go into details on the types of DUI breath tests that are available, it is good that you learn about how the DUI tests measure the blood alcohol. A breath test does not measure the alcohol percentage directly from the user’s blood. Instead, it measures the percentage of alcohol that is in the deepest parts of the individuals’ lungs, which is closest to the blood supply.
Therefore, the breathalyzer test machine converts the amount in an equivalent blood alcohol percentage. The formula used in this procedure is referred to as partition ratio. The partition ratio differs from one person to the other. However, California considers a rate that falls at 2,100 to 1. This means that the amount of alcohol available in 2,100 milliliters of your deep lung breath is considered to be legally equivalent to the amount of alcohol that is present in 1 milliliter of blood.
Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Tests
Once a traffic officer suspects that you are intoxicated, the California DUI investigation officially starts. You will be required to take a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test as part of their investigation. The test is optional unless you are under the age of 21 or you are on probation for a previous DUI offense.
The law requires the DUI officer to tell you that the test is optional, although most times they present it as if you do not have any choice.
Post-arrest DUI Breath Tests
This is a mandatory chemical test that a driver should take when arrested for DUI. It is also referred to as the evidentiary test and is administered even after taking a Preliminary Alcohol Screening test. The police officer can administer it at the mobile DUI checkpoint unit or the police station.
This kind of test measures the percentage of alcohol in the blood of the arrestee. Therefore, they are the most accurate results if everything is done according to the procedure. The police officer will resolve into administering the blood test if:
The driver could not manage to blow the breathalyzer hard enough
The driver is unconscious
The driver needs urgent medical care
Blood tests can be saved, meaning that your Granite Hills DUI attorney can manage to disapprove the results by taking a separate test.
Both breath and blood tests are common in California DUI cases. However, the DUI officer might resolve to a urine test under certain circumstances. The officer will recommend the urine test if:
Both blood and breath tests are unavailable
The person who has been arrested cannot take breath or blood tests due to a medical condition and extreme unconsciousness.
Comparison between Several BAC Tests
Since you have the option of choosing between breath and blood tests, it is recommended to learn about them to determine which suits you best.
When it comes to a DUI breath test, the main advantage that it poses is that it is less invasive and stressful. Also, its results can be availed within no time.
With the DUI blood test, its main advantage includes accurate assessment and the fact that part of the blood sample can be used independently by a different technician. Blood tests stand out to be a better option since it is preservable, making it different from the breath tests.
Refusal to Take a DUI Chemical Test
After the DUI officer has placed you under arrest, you can refuse to take a DUI breath test without any consequences. This applies under the implied consent law, which presumes that you have given consent to a DUI breath test as long as you were driving and you were lawfully arrested.
Keep in mind that the refusal to take a DUI chemical test only applies when you are subjected to a PAS test, which is involuntary. Otherwise, if you refuse to take a post-arrest chemical test or a blood test, this would attract additional consequences on your charges. Also, you cannot imply that you refused to take the test since you were unlawfully arrested. You should prove to the court about your unlawful arrest if you want the charges dismissed, despite having a positive BAC recording.
The term “refusal to take a chemical test” might seem straightforward, but it is not. Several factors unknowingly construct the refusal. These situations are as follows:
You have one chance to submit to a test and do not have the right to change your mind. If so, the police officer will be obligated to give you a second chance
Failing to choose a DUI test implies to be a refusal. This means that the officer will present every option that you can choose, but your failure to respond will only suggest that you are refusing the chemical test
You would typically have the right to speak to an attorney after an arrest. However, this right does not apply when you are required to take a chemical test. Your refusal to comply based on this right will be considered as a refusal to take a chemical test
You cannot imply that you need to have your physician take a chemical test and refuse to take one. The law only requires the procedure to be taken by a trained law enforcement technician or someone outside the laboratory, as provided by Title 17.
Benefits of Chemical Test Refusal
Although there is a possibility of added consequences in refusing a chemical test, you can still gain from such a decision. The only advantage that the refusal to take the chemical test would be that there is no way to prove your BAC. Therefore, the prosecutor will have nothing to prosecute you for DUI.
As stated above, several consequences might follow. These consequences are as follows:
An automatic suspension of your driver’s license for at least a year
Additional jail time if the driver has been convicted with DUI
Nine months in California DUI school
Title 17 Regulations While Handling DUI Tests
Title 17 is a code of conduct that regulates how the government or any institution involved in the handling of DUI samples. It applies to DUI blood tests, breath tests, and urine tests. Here is a detailed view of the regulations based on the test that is conducted.
Title 17 regulations for DUI Blood Test
Some of the Title 17 requirements needed in DUI blood tests are as follows:
An authorized technician should draw blood from the arrestee
The licensed technician should use an alcohol-based cleaning agent and should sterilize the draw site
There should be enough anticoagulant and preservative for the blood. These reagents are vital in ensuring that the blood samples do not clot or ferment, which could lead to false BAC results
The reagents must not be expired
The reagents should be mixed sufficiently with the samples
The technician should use proper blood storage techniques
Title 17 Regulations for Breath Tests
Title 17 regulations for breath tests involves the following factors:
The DUI officer should capture breath samples from the deep lung air or the alveolar air
The arrestee should be observed for fifteen minutes before the breath sample is taken
During the observation period, the arrestee should not smoke, drink, eat, or regurgitate
The breathalyzer should be calibrated at least after ten days or 150 uses
Title 17 Regulations for DUI Urine Tests
Although urine tests are not as common as both breath and blood tests, Title 17 has provided several requirements that must be observed during the administration of a urine test. The requirements are as follows:
Individuals who submit to a DUI test should empty his or her bladder and provide a sample after a minimum of twenty minutes
Any sample that is taken earlier should not be considered unreliable
The urine sample should be retained after one year to have it retested later on by an independent laboratory
Your Granite Hills DUI attorney will find different violations of the Title 17 regulations to help disapprove the test results provided by the prosecutor. The prosecutor will check for a violation, depending on the type of test(s) you undertook.
How BAC is Used During Prosecution
During a California DUI case, the prosecutor will consider your BAC results as part of the evidence needed for your sentencing. Therefore, the proof will be used to conclude that your BAC was over the recommended limit, which makes you guilty of DUI per se or you were impaired; hence you were guilty of DUI.
DUI per se depends on the objective measurement of impairment. If you had a BAC that is above the required limit, the driver would legally consider you too drunk to drive. On the other hand, Driving under the influence is subjective, meaning that you were unable to drive.
BAC represents one element of your subjective DUI prosecution. However, the higher the BAC level, the higher are the chances of being impaired. Some of the additional evidence needed for your trial are:
DUI police testimony
Proof that you were driving
Statements from witnesses such as passengers and other road users
Fighting DUI Tests Results in Court
The fact that your chemical tests showed a particular BAC does not mean that the results are accurate and indisputable. Several errors might arise from the test, and your Granite Hills DUI attorney should be in a position of exploiting them as your defense.
Besides the testing errors, your attorney should use the following positions as your legal defense:
You were not adequately advised on the choices and consequences that come along with taking a chemical test
You were not appropriately observed while the DUI officer was administering the DUI test
The testing object was not correctly calibrated as required under California laws
Your breath samples were mishandled
You were suffering from a medical condition such as diabetes or GERD hence the false BAC results
You had alcohol residue in your mouth
You had a rising blood alcohol content during the time of your testing
Find a Granite Hills DUI Attorney Near Me
Going through a DUI prosecution can be intense. That’s why you need a professional DUI attorney who can help you with your case. Unfortunately, not all DUI attorneys are as reasonable as they say. That’s why you should be thorough with your selection if you want to settle on a reliable attorney. San Diego DUI Attorney promises to meet all the expectations that you may have. If you are in Granite Hills, CA, contact us at 619-535-7150 and let us help you.