What Defines Blood Alcohol Concentration?
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a term that describes the amount of ethyl alcohol present in the blood stream. A person's BAC can be tested in several ways. For the purposes of law enforcement, a breath, blood or urine test will be administered.
Blood Alcohol Concentration and DUI Traffic Stop
When you're stopped for driving “under the influence,” the law enforcement officer will ask you to take a breath alcohol test. You have the right to refuse this test; however, if you do so, you may face additional legal consequences if you are eventually convicted of DUI. If you consent to the breath alcohol test, and your BAC level shows 0.08% or higher, you will be placed under arrest for DUI. In California, the vehicle code states that a person with a BAC of 0.08% or higher may not legally operate a motor vehicle.
Blood Alcohol Concentration and Driver's License Suspension
If your BAC is 0.08% or higher, your driver's license will be confiscated, and you will be issued a temporary driver's permit. This temporary permit will allow you to drive for up to 30 days, after which you will face an automatic suspension of your driving privileges. In order to avoid suspension, you must schedule a hearing with the CA DMV within 10 days of your arrest.
Inaccuracies in Blood Alcohol Testing Results
It is a common misconception that blood alcohol tests are completely accurate. Actually, the testing is far from 100% accurate, and many cases have been successfully argued on this point. Inaccurate tests may result from a number of factors, including defective testing equipment, improper procedures, uncertified or unlicensed person giving the test, even police radio interference. Other factors influencing the accuracy of the BAC test include the use of mouth wash, dentures, whether the person ate prior to the test, even hiccupped or vomited.
Factors may affect a person's blood alcohol concentration
Gender: Women generally have a lower BAC than men after consuming the same amount of alcohol due to differences in body composition and metabolism.
Body weight: A person's weight affects their BAC as heavier individuals have a lower BAC than lighter individuals after consuming the same amount of alcohol.
Rate of consumption: Drinking alcohol quickly can cause a rapid increase in BAC, while slower consumption can lead to a slower increase.
Type of alcohol: Different types of alcohol have different alcohol content, with distilled spirits having a higher alcohol content than beer or wine.
Food intake: Eating food before or during alcohol consumption can slow the rate of alcohol absorption and reduce BAC.
Medications: Certain medications can interact with alcohol, leading to increased BAC or other adverse effects.
Health conditions: Medical conditions affecting the liver or metabolism can affect a person's BAC after alcohol consumption.
Tolerance: Regular drinkers may have a higher tolerance to alcohol, leading to a lower BAC even after consuming a larger amount of alcohol.
BAC Levels in California
BAC of 0.08% or higher: It is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. This is considered a DUI offense and can result in legal penalties.
BAC of 0.15% or higher: If a person's BAC is 0.15% or higher, they may face enhanced penalties, including longer license suspension, higher fines, and mandatory alcohol treatment programs.
BAC of 0.20% or higher: If a person's BAC is 0.20% or higher, they may face even more severe penalties, including longer imprisonment and higher fines.
Sacramento DUI Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI in Sacramento or its surrounding communities, it's crucial to your case to consult immediately with an experienced DUI defense attorney. The Law Office of John Campanella has been successfully preserving the rights of clients charged with DUI in Sacramento for over 24 years. Attorney John Campanella knows that DUI charges can seriously affect one's life, and he acts quickly to provide the best possible representation to those accused of DUI.
DUI charges are serious, and you deserve the expertise and attention to detail of a reputable DUI lawyer John Campanella. The aggressive defensive strategy and compassionate, thoughtful counsel of Mr. Campanella will provide the best possible representation for your DUI case. Call the Law Office of John Campanella today! Call 1877-DUI JOHN (877-384-5646) or complete the brief form below now to get started on your strategic DUI defense.