A high blood alcohol content level in Arlington can serve as the basis for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. A conviction for DUI can result in a criminal record, as well as some serious penalties. Those penalties may include jail time, monetary fines, and administrative penalties, such as driver’s license suspensions and revocations.
If you have sustained a DUI charge or conviction, a skilled DUI defense lawyer may be able to help you challenge your BAC in Arlington.
One way that Arlington measures whether a driver is impaired is by BAC levels. In a nutshell, BAC measures the percentage of alcohol (i.e. ethyl alcohol or ethanol) that is present in a person’s bloodstream at a given time.
For purposes of arresting someone for DUI, the applicable BAC level depends upon the driver’s age, and in some cases, their occupation. Individuals who are 21 years of age or older may not drive with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.
On the other hand, a zero-tolerance policy applies to Arlington drivers who are under 21 years of age. A driver in this age group may not have a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher. In other words, they cannot have any alcohol in their system while they are behind the wheel.
The Commonwealth also holds professional commercial drivers to a higher standard when it comes to drinking and driving. It is important to know that a police officer can arrest a commercial driver for DUI if they have a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher. For more information about how the DUI laws concerning BAC in Arlington, contact a knowledgeable defense lawyer.
There are several legal methods that Arlington law enforcement officers routinely use to determine a driver’s BAC in Arlington. One of the most common BAC tests is the breath test.
Police officers often use breath analysis devices – commonly known as breathalyzer machines – to check a driver’s BAC. These machines can be helpful for the following reasons:
A breathalyzer machine will measure the amount of alcohol passing through the subject’s body, after exiting the body on their breath.
Although breathalyzers usually produce good evidence, they are not infallible. In some cases, breathalyzer machines may malfunction or may produce faulty results, based upon the subject’s diet or immediate environment.
Law enforcement officers also utilize BAC blood tests to determine the amount of alcohol present in the subject’s blood at any given time. Although these tests are generally more reliable than breath tests, lab errors can still occur, producing inaccurate results.
Finally, BAC urine tests measure the amount of alcohol present in the subject’s urine. However, these tests are generally less accurate than both blood and breath tests.
Alcohol may take up to several hours to manifest in a person’s urine, and it can remain in the subject’s system for up to 24 hours. Consequently, a urine test may not conclusively prove that an individual was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the traffic stop or arrest.
In some cases, you may be able to challenge the results of a BAC test. The testing instrument may be faulty, while in other cases, environmental factors may produce inaccurate results. An experienced DUI defense lawyer may be able to help you challenge your BAC in Arlington by helping you formulate a solid legal defense to your charge.
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