Rising blood alcohol is defined as an individual’s blood alcohol level being higher when later tested at the police station than when they were first tested at the scene of the traffic stop. Typically, blood alcohol levels will be tested at the scene with what is called a PBT field test, and then again at the police station after the arrest, between these two tests, there can sometimes be a noticeable discrepancy in the BAC reading. If the test discrepancy indicates rising blood alcohol, a lawyer can bring this up in court and try to seek a reduction in the DUI case.
In DUI arrests, officers report information about the field tests that the individual took, when they were taken, and the time between blood tests. If an individual was tested in the field, and their final test proves a higher blood alcohol level two hours later, for example, the attorney can attempt to argue that the individual’s blood alcohol level was much lower while operating the vehicle than the first test indicated. Showing that the driver had a lower blood alcohol content while they were driving, and therefore that they were not as impaired as much as might have been thought, can significantly mitigate the penalties that a driver might face in these cases.
Attorneys use this issue of rising blood alcohol level as a defense to try and get a blood alcohol level on a DUI reduced or removed. If an individual is charged with a blood alcohol level of .20 or higher, but at the scene their blood alcohol level was beneath that, an attorney can attempt to reduce or remove the original blood alcohol level on the record. This could result in significantly reduced penalties. This defense should be considered whenever there appears to be a disparity between the blood alcohol levels detected at the scene and the blood alcohol levels indicated by the test at the police station.
Judges and jurors tend to find this defense persuasive because it shows what the individual’s blood alcohol level was at the time of operating the vehicle. Sometimes it can take up to two hours to actually perform a blood alcohol test at the police station, thus sometimes the field test is a better indicator of the exact condition of the individual while operating the vehicle. Especially because, typically, an individual’s blood alcohol level is at its highest usually within an hour or two after consuming alcohol.
There are many benefits of contacting a Richmond DUI lawyer. Attorneys can help with education about the charges themselves; how to best prepare a defense, including possibly a rising blood alcohol defense; and how to best mitigate the possible punishments that could be faced. For these reasons, it may be beneficial to hire a local attorney that has experience in dealing with the Richmond prosecutors and understands exactly how Richmond judges operate.
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