If you are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI
), your blood alcohol content
can be one of the most damaging pieces of evidence against you. Although commonly called BAC
, most law enforcement officers determine blood alcohol content in one or more of the following ways, before, during, or after the arrest. These methods are blood, breath, and urine. Each can be successfully used in court, along with the other symptoms of intoxication that witnesses or officers observe. One of the most common forms of determining BAC is the standard breathalyzer
test. Law enforcement officers carry a machine that allows a defendant to blow forcefully into it, and it gauges the level of alcohol in the air. Although it is commonly seen on popular movies and TV shows, it is not nearly as accurate as the other forms of testing. As a matter of fact, almost all movies and TV shows that feature BAC testing show an officer utilizing a breathalyzer technique for determining blood alcohol content. Although the law enforcement offer will tell the accused that he/she must submit to this testing, you have the right to refuse. Doing so can look very bad for you at court and non-compliance often allows the DMV to impose very strict penalties. Even if you know that you will fail, there are defenses that can be built around remorse, mitigating circumstances, faulty equipment (which can help in having evidence suppressed), and more. If you refuse to submit, you will have much more difficulty explaining to the judge why you did not cooperate, and the result is often much harsher penalties. This includes more jail time, longer loss of driving privileges, and/or steeper monetary fine. The officer handling booking normally schedules or approves the second method, the urine test. Although less conclusive than a breathalyzer, this method works well when used in conjunction with blood testing for determining BAC. A urine test is not commonly used for determining BAC, and is normally the best option when law enforcement believes that drugs (prescription or recreational) will be present. Retaining the services of an attorney who is experienced with handling DUI cases is very important when evidence such as this is present. They will understand how to handle these test results, and build a defense that is most effective. They will also be familiar with ways to suppress the evidence, get it thrown out of court, or even use it as a more helpful means of evidence in some situations. Finally, blood tests are the most reliable and accurate forms of determining BAC. There are very few ways to counter a blood test, but experienced attorneys will still be able to build an effective defense. Most use perspectives such as medical evidence, equipment malfunction, and outdated equipment to have evidence suppressed or explain a high BAC. In many cases, blood test results are viewed as concrete evidence in court. This is why it is so important to retain an attorney who is familiar with DUI laws in your state, and protect your valuable rights. They can present the evidence as best as is possible, in order to allow the court to see you and your individual circumstances in the best light possible.This information is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.