Sobriety tests are now as common as DUI arrests. What this means to drivers is clear proof of driving under the influence. While many states have different terms and laws for handling DUI and DWI arrests, one thing is the same across the board. The blood alcohol level limit is 0.08% for all states and districts in the U.S. If you are at 0.08% or over, you can be fined, given jail time, and have your license suspended.
But you might be wondering, are these breathalyzer, blood, and other tests as accurate as you’d been led to believe? After all, the entire case against you is based on a simple test. While some would discount that these tests are in any way inaccurate, it’s still useful to look into the details.
When you are pulled over and the officer suspects your under the influence, he/she can administer more scientific tests such as the breathalyzer. Almost every state has the “implied consent” law where if you refuse to be tested for alcohol levels your license can be suspended. There are other tests too.
“Field of Sobriety Tests”
These tests are the ones we all know, where you’re asked to count from 100 down to 1, or spell the alphabet backwards. Officers also check the eyes, for coordination (walking in a straight line), and cognitive abilities. You might often have to do more than walk in a straight line and say the alphabet, as officers are trained in various ways to test alcohol levels.
Blood Tests for DUI
Blood tests are considered to be the most accurate test of alcohol levels in your body. However, in some cases DUI lawyers can argue the testing via blood, namely if the blood wasn’t handled or preserved properly before and during the testing. In fact,some say if the blood is allowed to coagulate, it can lead to false high readings.
Breath Tests for DUI
Perhaps the most common and well known test, the breathalyzer can be used to test alcohol levels right when the officer pulls you over. The actual science behind the breath test is complex, as it tests the level of alcohol in the air you exhale instead of your actual blood level. This results in a lot of guesswork on the officers part, and gives you the chance to fight the case, as false high readings can and do occur
Urine Tests for DUI
Since urine tests are the least accurate of blood alcohol level tests, they’re rarely used. Since alcohol is in the blood and not urine, it’s less accurate. Usually some assumptions have to be made.
Fighting the DUI with a Lawyer
If any of this sounds complex, that’s because alcohol blood level testing isn’t an exact science. While many will fail the tests and be over the limit, some will not, or there are mistakes made, and that’s enough room for a DUI lawyer to help you plead your case. No matter your situation, if you get charged with a DUI you can fight about more than the alcohol tests. You can also fight, for example, if the officer had the right to pull you over in the first place. In the end, hiring a DUI lawyer can help you out of this situation and perhaps help you keep your license and avoid jail time.