Brannen & Walker, Attorneys at Law
Let’s get started today
704.594.4128

How a BAC level is determined and how to challenge a BAC test


When police officers in North Carolina stop a driver for a traffic violation or respond to a car accident, the officer may have a motorist step outside of their vehicle. In matters where drunk driving is suspected, a field sobriety test might be conducted. In order to rule out that a driver is not under the influence of alcohol, certain tests are conducted. In order to establish a driver's blood alcohol content level, a breath test is often used.

There are several methods to measure BAC. However, these are not always accurate, meaning drivers may have the opportunity in certain circumstances to contest the accuracy and validity of the BAC test. There are five ways to determine BAC. This includes obtaining samples of urine, saliva, hair follicles, blood and breath of a suspect. While there are several methods to establish BAC, the breath test is the only one used broadly by law enforcement because other methods, such as blood, are more invasive.

Breath tests have been considered acceptably accurate when using them as evidence in a criminal charge. However, studies have proven that a breath test reading could vary from the actual BAC level by 15 percent. Thus, some courts throw out this evidence, as reliability is questioned.

Even if a breath test is used to charge an individual with a DUI, it is still possible to challenge the results. A Breathalyzer machine must be routinely tested and calibrated. There are ways to determine if continual and proper maintenance has been carried out on a specific machine. One can also challenge the validity of the test, questioning if there was probable cause and whether all the proper steps have been carried out.

If you are facing drunk driving charge, its important to understand your rights in this matter. Taking the time to construct a defense strategy is your best chance at getting the charges reduced or dismissed.

Source: FindLaw, "BAC Test FAQs," accessed Jan. 6, 2018

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Tell us about your legal issue

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email us for a response

Office Location

Brannen & Walker Attorneys at law

141 Union Street S
Concord, NC 28025

Phone: 704-594-4128
Fax: 866-413-9893
Concord Law Office Map