The Rising Blood Alcohol Content Defense

Posted on October 23, 2014

Walk-and-Turn Test

For a period of time, a person’s blood alcohol content continues to rise once they stop drinking. A common defense used by our San Francisco DUI lawyer is that your system was in the process of continuing to absorb alcohol so that a test conducted later would reflect a higher BAC level than the BAC level that occurred while you were actually driving.

How Your Body Processes Alcohol

After you drink alcohol, your BAC keeps climbing for a period of time as the alcohol goes through your system and into your body during the absorption phase. After a certain point, it tapers off and then drops as your liver processes the alcohol. The body is now in the elimination phase. Various factors, including your gender, how much alcohol you consumed, your weight and whether or not you had recently eaten can affect your test results. Our San Francisco DUI attorney might convince a jury that your BAC level was below the legal limit while you were driving.

Strategies When Using the Rising Blood-alcohol-content Defense

The elapsed time between drinking and actually driving must be very short in order to effectively use this strategy. In addition, your BAC level needs to be just slightly over the maximum allowed limit, and you need to perform well during the field sobriety tests to show that you were in control of your faculties and able to safely operate your vehicle. Your lawyer might then argue that your BAC level was below .08 percent while you were actually driving.

When the Rising Blood Alcohol Content Defense Is Not Effective

In some jurisdictions, the laws permit tests within a certain time frame, usually within two hours. A jury might not find the theory behind the rising BAC credible and might reject it because they think the person was more inebriated when driving instead of less intoxicated. A seasoned defense lawyer might persuade them to believe otherwise.

If you think that your situation might be appropriate for the rising BAC defense, call our San Francisco DUI lawyer at (415) 795-3890. The professionals at Silveira Law would be glad to speak with you further about your case.