Have you ever noticed that you don’t feel drunk or even “buzzed” immediately after you drink a beverage containing alcohol? This is because it takes your body time to absorb and process the alcohol you drink. In fact, your body requires so much time to complete this process, that your blood alcohol content can continue to rise for a few hours after you’ve stopped drinking.
It is these scientific facts that have led many DUI lawyers to develop a rising blood alcohol content defense. This strategy involves showing that although a driver tested as drunk sometime after their arrest, they may not actually have been impaired while they were driving.
It may sound too good to be true, but this defense has frequently been successful at getting DUI charges reduced or dropped. This may mean not having to serve jail time and avoiding having a criminal conviction on your record. Even if the outcome is not as positive as that, it may still mean only having to attend counseling or perform community service, either of which is vastly preferable to jail time.
An experienced DUI defense attorney knows precisely how the science behind rising blood alcohol levels works. What’s more, they can obtain expert witness testimony that may be used to further support a claim that a defendant was not drunk at the time of their arrest.
This defense may be possible if you or someone you know has been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. The best way to tell whether or not you may take advantage of this strategy is by consulting with a qualified DUI defense attorney.
Many people mistakenly believe that they start getting sober, or at least don’t become drunker, the moment they stop drinking. The reality is that they can continue to feel increasingly drunk for as much as a few hours after their last drink.
This is because alcohol has a long path to take through the drinker’s body. After the drink is consumed, it makes its way to the stomach and small intestines where it is slowly digested and absorbed. As it moves through the intestinal membranes, it enters the drinker’s blood stream. This is the point at which the drinker begins to actually feel the effects of the alcohol he has consumed.
Once the alcohol is in your bloodstream, it will eventually begin to cycle through to your liver. As slow as the stomach and intestines were to digest the drinks, the liver is even slower. Its job is to break down the alcohol and excrete waste products, and several hours are required to complete this process. This physiological phenomenon is the secret behind why people may drink at night, but wake up in the morning still feeling a bit drunk. The body is simply that slow when it comes to processing all of the alcohol that was consumed.
This slow absorption and lengthy processing time are why it is not advisable to wait an hour or so after drinking before hitting the road. Leaving immediately after finishing a drink is the better idea since the alcohol will still be in the early stages of processing and far less likely to cause any kind of impairment.
Various factors may affect how slowly or quickly a particular individual processes the alcohol that they consume. One of the most common that has an impact on DUI charges is the consumption of food. Specifically, if you eat a meal before you have a drink, then your body will process the alcohol far more slowly. This is because it is already hard at work digesting the food you consumed. The alcohol simply has to wait its turn. Accordingly, this could be the perfect set up for a rising blood alcohol level defense.
Another factor that may have an impact on alcohol absorption is the gender of the individual. Women are prone to reaching higher BACs in shorter time periods than men are. This is mainly based on the fact that women tend to carry less body fluid than men. Because the alcohol is more diluted in the man’s system, his BAC may not register as high as the woman’s.
So, why would a rising blood alcohol level be a useful defense in a DUI case? It’s because most blood or urine tests to determine blood alcohol levels are conducted an hour or more after the arrest of a driver. In other words, a person who had a drink or two and then got in the car to drive home may not have been drunk, or at least not as drunk, as they were when the BAC test was administered.
It requires particular skill and expertise to mount a rising blood alcohol level defense in court. Fortunately, a DUI defense attorney who has used this strategy before knows precisely the steps that need to be taken and the evidence that needs to be gathered.
This frequently begins with bringing in a toxicology expert who can potentially prove that a defendant’s blood alcohol level was actually below the legal limit when field sobriety tests were given. Additionally, it is helpful for the defendant to be able to produce proof of what they ate and drank before the arrest. Receipts and the testimony of eyewitnesses may both prove to be valuable. If someone can testify that the defendant did not appear to be driving impaired, this also may prove valuable to the defense.
The first step toward using a rising blood alcohol level defense is consulting with a qualified DUI attorney. These well-trained professionals know all of the questions to ask and what evidence to gather. With their assistance, the charges against you may be reduced or even dropped entirely.
The consequences for a drunk driving conviction are severe and potentially life changing. It is in your best interests to look for legal counsel that is willing to explore various defenses in the hope of gaining a favorable outcome. A rising blood alcohol level defense may be a successful approach.