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Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)



An experienced lawyer explains  blood alcohol content…

When stopped for driving while intoxicated (D.W.I.) or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (D.U.I.), police will give you a number of field sobriety tests at the scene of the traffic stop. If you fail the tests, or do not complete them to the officer’s satisfaction, he or she will ask you to take a a preliminary breath test (P.B.T.), a chemical test for blood alcohol concentration (B.A.C.) commonly known as a Breathalyzer.  It tests how much alcohol is in your system. The magic number is .08. I f you blow that level or higher, police will arrest you for driving under the influence. You do not have to submit to the tests, but you could still face a suspended license for failing to comply under the Implied Consent Laws in Virginia.

BAC and Consequences in Virginia:

  1. .08 creates presumption that you are under the influence
  2. .15 to .20 results in 5 days in jail
  3. .20 or greater  results 10 days

Your BAC level depends on a few factors. The most significant being how much alcohol you had to drink. It only takes a limited number of drinks to get you there in the danger zone, depending on your size two drinks could take you over this level. The many factors that lead to a high BAC are listed below.

  1. How much you have had to drink
  2. Over what period of time you drank (the body can only process one drink per hour, on average)
  3. Body weight & metabolism
  4. Drinking history & tolerance
  5. Type of alcohol consumed
  6. Health history
  7. Medications
  8. Empty vs. full stomach

Additionally, keep in mind that if you seem impaired, police can arrest you for any BAC over 0.0. When in doubt, do not drive. The safety of yourself and others may be at risk.

If arrested, you will benefit from a competent D.U.I. attorney such as Christopher P. James, who knows how to examine the details of your case to build a strong defense of your BAC.

to look at the details in each of the above to determine a defense to your  BAC. As an experienced D.W.I. attorney, Mr. James will evaluate all eight of the above factors to battle the scientific evidence against  you. Contact Chris now.

Considerations on accuracy of Breathalyzer tests include:

  1. Must be taken in proscribed time period
  2. Must be properly administered
  3. Official paperwork must be accurate and attested to
  4. Machine must be calibrated and recorded
  5. Whether device was accurately blown into…and many more.

Christopher P. James will look at all pertinent factors, seeking out challenges to your BAC test results. There are various reasons you may have blown a high BAC that did not reflect your actual level of intoxication; you have a right to challenge BAC results. The key to a successful challenge is hiring a lawyer who understands the inherent flaws of BAC and has experience in the courtrooms of Northern Virginia. Mr. James has successfully ensured that BAC did not determine the outcome of cases he tried in Manassas, Fairfax, Leesburg, Warrenton and other Virginia localities.

An experienced attorney knows that tests in the field are often inaccurate, testing units can be broken or out of calibration or not have the required maintenance records.

Blood tests to determine BAC have additional challenges…

  1. Must follow each parameter in the Virginia Code
  2. Whether alcohol was used to swab arm prior to test
  3. If entire sample tested or just blood plasma
  4. Whether the chain of custody was intact and shown on paperwork
  5. Qualification and training of the test administrator
  6. Methods: when, where and how was sample taken and then sent to forensics

Any deviation in the above standards can render a blood test inadmissible in a court of law in the state of Virginia. Hiring an experienced Virginia D.U.I. attorney is the first step in properly evaluating the validity of your BAC test results. The Law Offices of Christopher P. James will go over each test with a fine tooth comb.

Call for a FREE strategy session, 24 hours a day: 703-330-4514

Let the Law Offices of Christopher James guide you through the D.U.I. process in Prince William, Fairfax, Loudoun and Fauqueir Counties, serving you through phone consultations and our offices in Manassas and Oakton/Vienna, Virginia.