High Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

You may already know that if you drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater, you could be arrested for a DUI in Orange County for violating California Vehicle Code Section 21532(b). However, it is very common for people to drive and be arrested for having a high blood alcohol content (BAC) that far exceeds this limit and as a person’s BAC level rises, alcohol can begin to affect them in different ways. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in Orange County, it is important that you contact an Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately so that they can assess your case and provide next steps.

At a 0.08% BAC level, you likely think you are functioning better than you actually are, however you may be beginning to have a loss of motor coordination and good judgment. If you have been accused of a DUI for driving with a BAC level greater than 0.08%, it is essential that you contact an experienced attorney in Orange County to assist you with your case.

Some people black out, meaning that they have complete memory loss when they have a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Blacking out is often associated with binge drinking, however black outs typically occur at a BAC around 0.15%. When looking at alcohol related driving fatalities, 70% of impaired persons involved in these types of accidents had a BAC of.15% or higher. For this reason, in California a BAC over 0.15% constitutes enhanced penalties.

Another potential risk of a high blood alcohol content (BAC) is death. Death from alcohol poisoning is possible at a BAC of 0.40% or higher.

How do police determine if someone is impaired?

Police can do field sobriety tests, where they require a person to complete a variety of physical tests to determine the presence of alcohol. Police can also conduct a preliminary breath test on site. However, if this test or any of the field sobriety tests indicate to the police officer that a person may be under the influence of alcohol, they will be required to submit to either a blood or a chemical breath test at the police station. The blood test is considered the most precise option, however it is not completely accurate one hundred percent of the time. When someone submits to a blood test, a technician will be called in who will obtain blood from the suspect’s vein. The sample is mixed with a variety of chemicals, analyzed, and a report is generated and sent to law enforcement officers.

However, many things can go wrong during this process and that is why it is so important to contact an attorney who is experienced in DUI cases so that they can ensure that you have the best defense possible. Things that can go wrong when analyzing a blood sample include: potential contamination, the sample may not be preserved, the chemicals may not have been mixed into the sample properly, or the test itself may not have been performed correctly. Also, there is a possibility for one sample to be mixed up with another sample. There can also be issues in establishing the chain of custody of a sample, meaning that there are missing links in the record that law enforcement is supposed to keep when handling the sample.

Orange County defense attorney William Weinberg is an experienced lawyer in Orange County who has many years of experience defending clients charged in DUI cases. He will consider your case free of charge and advise you of your options. To reach him please contact his Irvine office at 949-474-8008 or by emailing him at bill@williamweinberg.com.

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Anyone who is arrested should contact an experienced Orange County DUI Criminal Defense Attorney to determine whether or not their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, were violated.

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