Drinking and driving is always a poor choice, but what happens if you’ve had just one or two drinks, get stopped for a minor traffic violation and are asked to take a Breathalyzer test? You’re absolutely sure that your blood alcohol content (BAC) wasn’t that high when you started down the road, so you’re shocked to find out that you’re above the legal limit of .08%.
Is your case hopeless? Not at all.
Timing is everything in a drunk driving case
When you’re accused of being over the per se legal limit (meaning that the law automatically considers you to be legally impaired due to your BAC, regardless of how you were driving), one of the first things your defense needs to consider is when the Breathalyzer or other chemical test was administered.
In many states, there’s no official time limit that says when blood alcohol tests must be administered on someone who is suspected of drunk driving. In New York, a two-hour rule applies. Any test that was performed more than two hours after a driver was stopped on suspicion of drunk driving can be challenged as unfair and unreliable.
Why does the two-hour rule exist? Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently depending on their body weight, how much they’ve eaten, their muscle mass and more. That means that a driver’s BAC often continues to rise for several hours after their last drink.
Drunk driving cases are seldom without avenues of defense. If you’re facing charges, it’s time to learn everything you can about the possibilities so that you can be proactive about your future.