Rising Blood Alcohol in Montgomery County DUI Cases
Rising blood alcohol is a term used when a person’s alcohol level in their system is increasing gradually. A rising BAC may be caused by any of circumstances, and could be medically-related or related to the timing of the person’s alcohol consumption.
A rising BAC could affect breathalyzer test results or blood alcohol results taken at a police station, results that may not reflect a person’s actual level of intoxication when they were initially pulled over by a police officer and evaluated for DUI or DWI. An experienced DUI attorney could take a rising BAC into account while preparing a DUI defense.
It is important for the defense attorney to have a conversation with the client about their alcohol intake at the time of their arrest and whether they had a drink that might have contributed to rising alcohol levels. The attorney should also look at other factors, such as how the individual performed on the field sobriety tests, their demeanor with the officers, and the preliminary breath test result.
Under certain circumstances, one might want to use a rising BAC as a defense. For example, an argument might be made that when the person was at the police station, their level was skewed and that the test is not, therefore, an accurate representation of their BAC level when they were behind the wheel of a vehicle and alleged to be driving under the influence or impaired by alcohol.
If the preliminary breath test produced a low level such as a 0.06 or 0.07 and then was much higher at the police station, an argument could be made that a rising blood alcohol level contributed to the reading at the police station—as opposed to the much lower level indicated by the preliminary breath test on the side of the road.
Preparing a Defense for a Rising BAC
A successful DUI case involving a rising BAC should include a medical expert witness who can explain the defendant was subject to a rising blood alcohol level, as well as why the level taken by the officer at a secondary location is not the same. Often times, officers circumvent this issue by giving a preliminary breathalyzer test, which could be used to argue that the blood alcohol level expectation is accurate and consistent with the level taken at the roadside by police officers.
Roadside breathalyzers may be controversial. Theoretically, a breathalyzer test given on the roadside should not be used in a criminal courtroom. If the issue of rising blood alcohol comes up, an argument could be made at a motion hearing or in some proceeding that the preliminary breath test was not admissible in court.
Rising blood alcohol gives a reasonable explanation for why one had a different alcohol level in their system at the time they were driving than they had when they were tested at another location. There might, therefore, be opportunities to make a persuasive argument in a courtroom.
Benefits of Contacting an Experienced DUI Lawyer
A rising blood alcohol in Montgomery County DUI cases could be an argument that an accused individual was not under the influence or impaired by alcohol when they were on the roadside. Rising BAC arguments may be difficult, because the judge or jury may want more information than they would if in a straightforward DUI case.
The defense attorney has an obligation to explain the concept of rising blood alcohol using witnesses or experts. A persuasive argument made by the defense attorney could raise reasonable doubt in the mind of a jury or a judge about whether the state met its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.