Have you been charged with a DUI in Northern Califonria? DUI lawyer representation is almost a necessity if you have been charged with a DUI. At Summit Defense Criminal Attorneys, we have a variety defense strategies to challenge DUI charges, including calling BAC (blood alcohol content) readings into question.


If an officer of the law determines that a BAC test is necessary in order to prove that you have been driving under the influence, there are several different ways in which you can challenge the veracity of the reading. Readings are commonly taken: 1) via ‘breath’ tests or 2) by a sample of blood. The defense strategy that your experienced Bay Area DUI lawyer chooses will depend largely on which method your arresting officer used.


DUI breath testing actually measures the amount of alcohol present in a person’s deep lung tissue (“alveolar air”), multiplying the reading by 2,100 times in order to determine the ‘blood alcohol concentration.’ However, it is more common for these instruments to measure the amount of alcohol that has remained in a person’s mouth. The traces of “alcoholic” beverages can be found in the mouths of those who suffer from heartburn, acid reflux, or those who have had recent dental work. Additionally, if the individual has been taking an over-the-counter cold medicine, using mouthwash, or breath sprays, the residual alcohol could cause a false BAC level reading. Added to these possibilities are the fact that these instruments are often poorly maintained and apt to malfunction. Further, because the ratio that determines the BAC is based off one milliliter of blood, the individual’s height, weight, and metabolism are not taken into account.


With a skilled Bay Area DUI lawyer, BAC readings may also be challenged with the ‘rising blood alcohol’ defense. Because it takes approximately 50 minutes to three hours for alcohol to be absorbed into an individual’s bloodstream, an individual who is stopped for a DUI might be under the .08% limit when stopped and over the limit by the time the officer administers a BAC test. In other words, an individual’s peak absorption rate might not have been reached until after having been investigated by the arresting officer. This discrepancy applies to BAC breath testing and BAC blood tests.


BAC blood tests in particular may be inaccurate, or provide a faulty reading, for a variety of reasons. Contamination of the blood sample after it has been placed in the hands of the police, improper storage of the blood sample once it is in the hands of the police, and blood fermentation are all possibilities.


If a defendant’s BAC reading can be proven compromised in any way, it is inadmissible in court. Working with a California DUI lawyer from Summit Defense, you’ll see that there are many ways to challenge BAC readings. After the fact, without such a reading, there is often no evidence to prove that the accused is guilty of a DUI.


If you think you may have a case, call Summit Defense to work with a skilled California DUI lawyer.