Rising Blood Alcohol and DUI Arrests

April 5, 2021

Can I Use the "Rising Blood Alcohol" Defense To Fight My DUI Charge?

Can I Use the "Rising Blood Alcohol" Defense To Fight My DUI Charge?

Because the human body takes time to process alcohol, you may cite rising blood alcohol as a reason you were not driving under the influence. Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can measure too high when tested, even if it was not above the legal limit when you were driving. Therefore, you can defend yourself against a DUI charge by pointing to rising blood alcohol levels.

How Can Rising Blood Alcohol Affect Your BAC?

When you drink alcohol, the chemical first enters your digestive system. Your liver processes the booze, but this takes time. While digestion is occurring, some alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream.

Depending on various biological factors, it can take hours after drinking for the maximum amount of alcohol to enter your blood. For example, the alcohol does not mix with your blood as soon as you swallow a shot of vodka.

Instead, alcohol continues to seep into your bloodstream for about half an hour after it is consumed. The peak usually occurs 45 minutes after drinking. During this period, when you are not drinking, you have “rising blood alcohol.”

What Impacts How Long Your BAC Rises?

There are biological and environmental factors that affect both the pace of rising blood alcohol and when your BAC peaks.

Some of the physical traits that impact rising blood alcohol include:

  • Your body type
  • Your body fat percentage
  • Your gender
  • Your health status
  • Medications or other drugs
  • How tired you are

Additionally, the pace at which your BAC rises will be based on:

  • What type of alcohol is consumed
  • The alcohol content of the drink(s)
  • How quickly you drink or go from glass to glass
  • Whether you drank on a full or empty stomach
  • If you eat anything while you are drinking

There is no magic formula for determining fast-rising BAC or slowly-peaking intoxication. All of these factors play some part in how your blood will absorb alcohol.

When To Use the Rising Blood Alcohol Defense

If you have been arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you will be given a chemical test to determine your BAC. This is different from a roadside breathalyzer test because it is typically administered at the police station. Law enforcement will either take a breath or blood test once you are under arrest.

This chemical test is presumed to be a valid recording of your BAC so long as it is taken within three hours after you are arrested. But, from the time you are pulled over until you are given the test, your BAC can vary widely. You may not have been over the limit when you were stopped, but rising blood alcohol caused your test results to show an illegal BAC.

A skilled DUI defense attorney can determine whether or not the rising blood alcohol defense is appropriate in your situation. Especially when seeking out a plea-bargain to lesser charges, rising blood alcohol science can benefit you. The difference between a DUI conviction and a reckless driving plea can mean no jail time and less severe restrictions on your driving privileges.

Do you believe your DUI charges in Newport Beach, California, resulted from rising blood alcohol? If so, contact Chambers Law Firm at 855-397-0210 or info@orangecountyduifirm.com to schedule a free consultation.

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