Our law firm defends DUI/DWI offenses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and these criminal offenses often involve the introduction of evidence regarding a suspect’s blood alcohol content (BAC). If your case is proceeding to trial, it is important that your defense attorney identifies any issues with the blood evidence as this is a critical element in most DUI charges, and specifically, the more serious charges which require the Commonwealth to prove a specific BAC beyond a reasonable doubt. In Pennsylvania there are actually 9 types of DUI charges and I encourage you to read my previous article on this for more information.
What DUI Blood Test Don’t Measure
This may shock a lot of readers but DUI blood tests measure BAC but don’t measure BAC at the time of driving. This is important because Section 3802 b & c (Title 75) require that the Commonwealth prove a specific BAC level within 2 hours after a person has driven or was in actual physical control of the vehicle. If the Commonwealth can’t prove this element of this criminal charge, beyond a reasonable doubt, a judge or jury will have to find the person not guilty.
In most situations a blood test is administered at least 30 minutes after an accused person has driven a car. A person’s blood alcohol content is constantly changing depending on the rate of alcohol absorption and elimination. Because BAC is constantly in flux, it is possible to show that a person was under the legal limit even though test results revealed a BAC of .08 or higher according to the test. This is also known as the “rising alcohol defense”. When you drink alcohol, your BAC gradually rises as alcohol is absorbed and reaches a peak whereupon it begins to fall as alcohol is metabolized into your system.