Driving under the influence or DUI is a serious legal offense that pertains to any action where individual control, operates or drives a vehicle while being impaired due to alcohol or drugs. Drugs can either be the abuse of prescription medicines or recreational drugs. The impairment leaves the driver incapable of controlling a vehicle safely. Any individual who is facing charges must work with an experienced DUI lawyer to help out the defendant in navigating the legal system.
Many DUI cases involve alcohol. When it comes to alcohol consumption, a driver’s intoxication level is determined with the measurement of his or her blood alcohol content (BAC). In the road, law enforcement can also determine the alcohol level through a breath test measurement which is called the breath alcohol content (BrAC). A BrAC or BAC measurement determines if the alcohol levels in a person’s body have exceeded the legal limits. There is a threshold level that determines if a driver has committed the DUI offense.
The threshold level at 0.08 percent. Breaching this alcohol level could lead the driver to face a criminal offense which is why a person would need a supervising DUI lawyer to help. Law firms like Benari Law have specializations in these types of cases. In other areas, there is a category with aggravation when the offender’s alcohol level reached a higher percentage which could be at 0.12, 0.15, or 0.25 percent. Many states allow law enforces to conduct field tests for suspected DUI offenders to determine signs of any intoxication.
Blood Alcohol Level
Drinking alcohol which is enough for the alcohol concentration to reach 0.03 to 0.12 percent can cause a flushed and reddish appearance with impaired judgment. Muscle coordination is also highly affected. A BAC with 0.09 to 0.25 percent would lead to balance problems, blurred vision, sedation, and lethargy. Having a BAC percentage from 0.18 to 0.30 will lead to slurred speech, dizziness, vomiting, staggering, and confusion.
A person with a BAC percentage from 0.25 to 0.40 leads to unconsciousness, stupor, vomiting, and anterograde amnesia. It can also cause a potentially-threatening condition with respiratory depression. Having a 0.35 to 0.80 BAC causes fatal or life-threatening conditions like respiratory depression, coma, and even alcohol poisoning.
There are many factors that will affect a person when his or her BAC exceeded 0.08. Other factors are the person’s weight and if the individual ate food during the time of drinking. Basically a 170 pounds can drink more than a 135 pounds female before breaching the BAC threshold.
The breathalyzer is a device used to estimate the BAC with a breath sample. The device developed by Robert Frank Borkenstein in the 1950s. Law enforcers are using sobriety tests to see signs of intoxication. An example is asking the driver to stand with his or her own leg. They also examine the eyes and other responses. BAC is measured with a simple percentage of any alcohol level on the blood by a person’s weight. Research has shown that there is a major increase in risk for a car crash or accident depending on the high levels of BAC.
Depending on a person’s location, the BAC may also be measured by the police through breath, urine, and blood. For field tests, the breath method is most preferred since the results are available immediately.
However, the legitimacy of the methods and equipment to test the blood and breath alcohol levels have many criticisms. A DUI lawyer can use the defense of improper testing or equipment calibration in DUI cases. In Canada, there were cases when the officers went to an unconscious person after an accident to take a blood sample. This method can be contested in court.
In some jurisdictions, consuming alcohol while driving is illegal. In other places, it is illegal for having an open container with an alcoholic beverage to be in the compartment. There were cases where drivers were convicted even though they were not caught driving but has been proven in court that they committed a DUI offense.
If an accident occurs, any car insurance can be invalidated. Basically, the DUI offender will be fully responsible for the damages incurred. Whether defendants are innocent or guilty of DUI, it is in their interest to work with a DUI lawyer to ensure that their side will be heard in court.