As I discussed in another post, just driving a car with a blood alcohol level at or above 0.08% is a crime. But when is that 0.08% magical number really not what we think it is? There are defenses to driving with a blood alcohol above the limit. One common misconception is that the blood alcohol level shown in the chemical test (either blood or breath) is the true measure of your alcohol level. If it’s accurate, it measures one thing – your alcohol level at the time of the test. The problem is, that doesn’t show what is crucial – your blood alcohol level at the time of driving. The prosecution must rely on mathematic formulas and certain assumptions to try to prove what your alcohol level was at the time you were driving.
Your alcohol level drops as your body metabolizes, or “burns off” alcohol in your system. This is the natural process of “sobering up.” But just like fingerprints, every person is a little different when it comes to alcohol “burn off” rate. The prosecution uses certain “standard” rates to try to calculate backwards from the test to the time of driving. There are potential flaws in that reasoning, however. What if you had a full stomach? What if you are a thin person? What about your gender? What if you are taking medication? What about medical conditions? All those factors (and more) may affect your true blood alcohol level. Before looking only at the blood alcohol level the prosecution or police say you have, you should have your case evaluated by an attorney to explore any possible defenses in your case.