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Rising BAC Defense in an Ohio DUI Case

Being pulled over is scary. What is scarier is being suspected of driving under the influence (DUI).  Here in Ohio, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are lumped into one group known as Operating a Vehicle under the Influence (OVI). You can be tested in one of two ways, or even both, through a Breathalyzer or a blood test. However, the growing concern is that these are not an accurate representation of your actual alcohol level while you were behind the wheel. Once you have been arrested your blood alcohol content (BAC) level will continue to rise while you wait to be tested. Scientists have tried but have yet to develop a formula to figure out a person’s BAC at a particular time.

How Does Rising BAC Happen?

People believe that the more you drink the drunker you get. Well, this is not exactly how it works. You actually continue to get drunker even once you stop drinking. As you drink your body immediately begins to absorb the alcohol. This process happens slowly. Your stomach starts to digest the alcohol and then it gets absorbed through your bloodstream. It is not until it reaches your bloodstream that you begin to feel the buzz or tipsy. The alcohol will remain in your blood and you will remain intoxicated until the liver breaks it all down. This could take hours. So, you will continue getting drunk after you stop drinking. There are also factors that could also make it take longer for your body to absorb the alcohol. One such factor could be eating while your drinking. Your digestive is so full of food that it takes longer for it to absorb the alcohol.

What Is A Rising BAC Defense?

BAC refers to blood alcohol content. The gist is that while your BAC level was over the legal limit, 0.08%, your BAC while you were actually behind the wheel could have been below the legal limit, meaning you’re not guilty of an OVI. Your BAC continues to rise for about two hours until it reaches its peak level.

Prosecutors tend to assume that everyone is beyond their peak absorption phase when chemical testing is done. However, that this isn’t always the case and rising blood alcohol is a very legitimate DUI defense. This rising blood alcohol defense applies to both DUI blood testing and DUI breath testing.

What Are Factors That Affect How Body Absorbs Alcohol?

Everyone processes alcohol differently. There are many factors that affect the rate of absorption including but not limited to:

  • the type of alcohol consumed;
  • Age;
  • Gender;
  • Weight;
  • whether you had food in your system;
  • your fatigue level;
  • medications taken;
  • your current mood.

The thing most people do not realize is that by the time you actually feel drunk, you are intoxicated beyond the legal limit.

How Can “Rising BAC” Help Me?

Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs – OVI is governed by Ohio statute 4511.19. This Code states that it is illegal to operate a vehicle if your BAC level is 0.08% or higher.

The key to your defense is the amount of time between when you were pulled over and when your BAC was tested. The longer you had to wait, the higher the chances are the results are inaccurate. This defense is best used when you had a few drinks shortly before you got behind the wheel.

To have the best defense you need an experienced DUI attorney. If rising BAC appears to be relevant, then they may bring in a toxicologist to explain why and how you were actually not intoxicated above the legal limit when you were pulled over.

 What Can I Do To Help My Case?

There is very little you can do to help besides contacting an attorney. But there is one VERY important thing that you can do, and that is to help us find evidence that supports your story. Keep any receipt you may have from that night. Give us names and numbers to any eyewitness that saw you right before, or when, you entered your car. Depending on your case you could have further evidence that would help.

Whether it is you or someone you love facing the charge, we are here to fight the allegations. We want to keep you out of jail and help you move on with your life. We are ready and willing to take on the case right away. We will provide effective legal representation on your behalf. Our firm will do whatever is necessary to get the charges reduced or even dismissed.  If the rising BAC defense does not fit your case, there are other defenses to look at. Contact our firm today.