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Could a rising blood alcohol concentration lead to DUI charges?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2023 | Drunk Driving Defense

There are many reasons that people in New Hampshire get arrested based on allegations that they were drunk at the wheel. A driving under the influence (DUI) charge is often the result of a targeted traffic stop or chemical testing conducted after a crash.

When police officers establish that somebody has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit, they can then justify arresting that driver. However, there have been cases in which those accused of a DUI offense assert that they did not break the law and that they did their best to comply with it. For example, someone may have passed a breath test before leaving a bar or a party. Could the phenomenon of a rising BAC help them to defend against a DUI charge?

Alcohol metabolization takes time

The process of breaking down or metabolizing alcohol is a lengthy one. Factors ranging from someone’s health and age to what else they have consumed throughout the day will determine how quickly their body processes alcohol. The process is not instant, which often means that people’s BACs continue to rise for some time after they finish drinking for the day.

In scenarios where people perform chemical breath tests to validate that they can legally and safely drive after drinking, failing to wait an adequate amount of time after the end of consumption before testing could potentially lead to someone failing a breath test during a traffic stop when they were under the legal limit before they got behind the wheel.

Prior testing could help in some cases

While failing to account for the possibility of a rising BAC due to the body’s metabolic processes does not excuse drunk driving, it could certainly help someone show that they did not have the intent to break the law.

Someone choosing to perform breath tests before getting behind the wheel does not necessarily eliminate their risk of a DUI charge, but it could make it less likely for them to break the law and also help them develop a defense strategy later by proving that they made every reasonable effort to remain compliant with state blood alcohol limits.

Learning more about how the body handles alcohol may benefit those who are preparing to fight back against DUI charges with the assistance of a legal professional.


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