When you submit to a BAC field sobriety test, you may wonder how the breathalyzer that you blow into actually works. How does the number that it provides to the officer conducting the test correlate with your BAC?
The number alone cannot tell what your BAC is or whether or not your BAC is necessarily over the legal limit. To make that determination, the officer needs to refer to the breathalyzer scale used by the state, which then will indicate if your BAC is low enough to be sent on your way or high enough to warrant your prompt arrest.
Most states allow people to continue driving even after consuming alcohol if their BAC levels are below 0.08. Even with that small amount of alcohol detected in their breath, they are still safe enough to drive themselves home or wherever else they need to go. However, when the breathalyzer test indicates a BAC higher than that number, it could signal to the police to place you under arrest. Your BAC is too high for you to safely operate a motor vehicle. You present a real danger to the public until you are sober.
Using a Breathalyzer Scale Chart On Your Own
You have every right as a private citizen to find out what your state’s legal BAC limit is and what kind of breathalyzer scale chart police officers use when field sobriety testing drivers. You can find one of these BAC charts online. You may even find the very one that your state requires law enforcement officers to use when testing for high BAC levels.
The typical breathalyzer scale chart will test people for alcohol consumption and BAC based on criteria like how much alcohol they have consumed and how much they weigh. In fact, the breathalyzer scale chart is different for men than it is for women simply because men and women process alcohol differently. Men have more stomach enzymes that help process and eliminate alcohol, which helps them keep their BAC levels in check before driving.
Nonetheless, the breathalyzer test result gives a number that officers can then use to refer to the breathalyzer scale chart. Based on how old you are, how much you weigh, what gender you are, and how much alcohol you have consumed, the chart indicates if your BAC is over the legal limit to drive.
Lowering Your BAC Breathalyzer Levels before Driving
Once you realize how a breathalyzer works in determining your BAC, you may want to lower your BAC on your own before you drive yourself home after a night of drinking alcohol. It is reasonable for you to want to go out and have a few drinks of your favorite alcohol from time to time with friends. However, at the same time you do not want to get caught driving with a BAC over the legal limit. Rather than risk failing a breathalyzer test, you may want to know how to keep your BAC breathalyzer levels below the legal limit before driving.
The old myth about drinking coffee actually does help keep your BAC low enough to pass a breathalyzer test. After one or two alcohol drinks, you should drink a cup of coffee to help your body process the alcohol and eliminate it from your body. Because coffee consists primarily of water, it acts as a diuretic and helps your body pass the alcohol out of your system while lowering your BAC.
Likewise, you may want to eat a full meal while drinking alcohol. A meal consisting of carbohydrates and protein help your stomach break down not only the food but also the alcohol. Your body will then absorb it faster, preventing your BAC from reaching a legally critical level.
However, when you want to pass a breathalyzer test without eating food or drinking coffee, you simply have to wait it out while your body absorbs and gets rid of the alcohol on its own. Most BAC charts show that it takes one hour for the human body to process drink with alcohol in it. The alcohol amount used in the chart is a single 1.25 shot of alcohol, a 12 ounce glass or bottle of beer, or a 0.5 ounce glass of wine.
The Legal Ramifications of Your Breathalyzer Results
All 50 states allow the test results of a field sobriety breathalyzer to be submitted as evidence of a person’s public intoxication or DUI. When your BAC breathalyzer results show that your own BAC was over the legal limit at the time of the test, the results can have long-lasting legal ramifications on your life. The severity of punishment you face because of failing a breathalyzer test can depend on the BAC test result as well as if you are a repeat DUI offender.
Many judges have little patience for people who attempt to drive with BAC levels that are exceedingly high. Even going slightly over the 0.08 BAC limit used by most states can result in you receiving an expensive DUI fine. You also may lose your driving privileges for up to 30 days after failing a breathalyzer test.
When your use of alcohol causes your BAC to be so high that you cause loss of life or property, you could be sentenced to jail or prison. You may not be sentenced to probation or BAC rehabilitation classes. Instead, you would serve out a prison or jail sentence to pay back society for not only failing a breathalyzer test but also causing harm to someone or something.
The breathalyzer test results are generally the same for every state. Most states use the same breathalyzer test charts and scales to determine the safest level of BAC for driving a car without posing a risk to the public.
Can You Contest an Alcohol Breathalyzer Test
While every state allows the test results of a breathalyzer to be submitted as court evidence, most states also allow defendants to contest their test results especially if they believe the breathalyzer or the officer conducting the test was in the wrong.
to contest your bac test results, you need to hire an attorney who is experienced in dui law. this attorney will know how a breathalyzer should be administered and if your own test could possibly have been compromised and given a false bac result.
if you are successful in contesting the results of your alcohol field sobriety test, you could have the alcohol offense charges against you dropped or reduced. you also may have civil recourse to take against the city, county, or state that gave you the breathalyzer test.