During a DUI stop in Sonoma County, a police officer will likely ask you to take a portable breath test. The best thing to do is to refuse this test, but if you are placed under arrest, you are required to submit to chemical tests under California’s “implied consent” law.
So, you’re placed under arrest and you must take a blood or breath test. Which one should you take?
What is More Accurate: Blood Tests or Breath Tests?
Whether you should request a blood or breath test depends upon many factors. If you strongly feel that you are under the legal blood-alcohol content limit of .08%, you will want to choose a blood test because it is more accurate, and it can be RETESTED later by your attorney.
Breath tests have a greater margin for error. They can be skewed or affected by mouthwash, cough syrup, or other products that contain alcohol. Even certain non-alcoholic products like energy drinks can create falsely higher BAC test results.
If you think that you may be below the legal BAC level but aren’t quite sure, you may want to choose a breath test. Your attorney can and should challenge the accuracy of Breathalyzer test results because of their tendency to be inaccurate, poorly calibrated or maintained from reviewing past records and logs.
In any case, it is best to be aware of how alcohol that you consumed. For an average male, each drink you consume raises your BAC about .02 to .03 percent per hour.
For women on average, it will rise at a slightly higher rate. After drinking, but before driving, it would be wise to use a phone app to calculate your BAC or a hand-held breathalyzer.
Have You Been Drinking?
Breathalyzers test for the presence of alcohol in your system, and only for alcohol. If you’ve taken any kind of drugs, a breath test will not detect this. However, a blood test will show results for drugs, including prescription medications.
Even if you think you did not take enough drugs to impair your driving ability, a blood test could detect these drugs and the results could be used as evidence against you that you were “impaired.”
If you have taken any kind of drugs, it may be best to avoid a blood test and have officers administer a Breathalyzer test instead.
Time is of the Essence
When it comes to calculating BAC, timing is everything. The absorption of alcohol continues to rise for up to two hours after your last drink before your BAC starts to fall.
If you’re driving while your BAC is in the declining stage, a blood test might work to your advantage depending on the time of your last drink and your location.
For example, it may take a while for the officer to transport you to a facility where your blood can be drawn. That delay could be enough to allow your BAC level to fall below the legal limit.
Meanwhile, a breath test can often be administered on the spot. If your BAC level is rising even though you felt unimpaired, this could still produce higher Breathalyzer test results.
Call the DUI Defense Attorneys at Fiumara and Milligan Law
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, you need to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at Fiumara and Milligan Law. Our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing DUI charges for over 25 years. We’ve helped thousands of clients in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.
Call us today at 707-571-8600 for a FREE case evaluation and we will do everything we can to help get your charges REDUCED OR DISMISSED! Why deal with this alone!
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