BAC in Richmond
In the state of Virginia (and in most states), driving while having alcohol present in the blood can be a crime. In the Code of Virginia, the state makes it a crime to drive while impaired or drive with a certain percentage of blood alcohol content (BAC).
If the police catch a driver doing this, the government may convict that driver of a DUI, which could lead to jail, fines, a suspension or revocation of a driver’s license, among other potential penalties.
Even though any amount of alcohol that causes impairment to the driver is a crime, typically the police try to prove the actual BAC in Richmond, which does not require proof that the alcohol actually had any effect on the driver’s ability to drive. The point is that there is a certain amount of alcohol present in the driver’s blood when the police catch the driver.
If the police have arrested you or you suspect that the police may accuse you of a DUI, it may be time to enlist the services of a qualified DUI lawyer who may be able to advise you of your rights and help you prepare a strong defense for any charges and evidence brought against you.
BAC Levels in Virginia
In Virginia, the courts can convict any driver over the age of 21 with 0.08 BAC with a DUI. There are also varying levels of drugs in the blood that can lead to a DUI conviction.
If a driver is under the age of 21, there is almost no safe amount of alcohol for the driver to have in their system. The courts punish underage DUIs if the driver has a BAC in Richmond of 0.02 or more.
Enhanced Punishments for High BACs
There is enhanced punishment when the court finds a driver had a BAC of 0.15 up to 0.20, which includes a mandatory five days in jail. If the court convicts a driver of having a BAC of more than 0.20, then the court must put that person in jail for at least ten days (Code Section 18.2-270).
If a person drives after having their license suspended, then even if the police catch the driver driving with a 0.02 BAC, the court can convict the driver of a subsequent DUI (Code Section 18.2-272).
The police have various methods to test for drunk driving, but typically they conduct a test that checks the driver’s BAC in Richmond. Police can check BAC with blood or urine tests, but the most common method used by police is breathalyzer machines. They are often preferred because:
- They are easy to carry,
- They offer instantaneous results, and
- They are usually accurate.
How do Breathalyzers Work?
Breathalyzers work by measuring the alcohol that is in a person’s lungs. When a person consumes alcohol, it flows through the blood, as well as lungs and urine.
While the evidence produced by breathalyzers is usually enough to convict a person, mistakes can happen. The police officer conducting the test must be properly trained in order to conduct a test. The machine must operate correctly. There must be nothing unusual about the suspect’s diet or health. If there is a problem with the results, a skilled lawyer may be able to have that evidence excluded from trial.
Challenging a BAC with the Help of a Richmond DUI Attorney
Depending on how the police collected evidence of your BAC, you may be able to challenge the outcome of a BAC in Richmond. There may have been some problems with the collection process, which may have led to incorrect results.
A knowledgeable DUI attorney may be able to help you defend against any charges based on BAC tests and potentially even have a charge lowered or dismissed. Reach out to a lawyer today to see how they may be able to help you defend your rights and freedom.