Alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream when you drink it. It can travel to your brain and different areas of your body. Here, alcohol can affect the way you drive, making you accidentally miss traffic signals and drive unsafely. If law enforcement officials notice you driving erratically, they may pull you over for blood alcohol testing. However, there are potential problems with testing that can result in BAC testing errors.
Firstly, it is essential to understand how alcohol gets into your bloodstream. As you drink, the beverage passes from your stomach into your intestines. Here, the bloodstream can absorb the broken-down molecules of alcohol and it can travel to different parts of your body, such as your brain and lungs.
Alcohol Effects and other BAC Testing
At a neuro level (your brain), alcohol increases the effects of your inhibitory signals, which results in decreased coordination, delayed reaction times, and other things that can affect your driving and your ability to take field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are different coordination tests that police use to estimate your blood alcohol content or BAC. Tests include walking and turning horizontal nystagmus, and one-legged stand.
While field sobriety tests can give law enforcement officials a reasonable estimation of your BAC, they are still subjective. This test means that your results can vary based on each law enforcement agent’s perception of your abilities in the trial. The problem as a result can get you arrested for driving under the influence even if you have a BAC below the legal limit.
Additionally, law enforcement officials sometimes use BAC testing devices such as a Breathalyzer. This gadget relies on a reaction between the alcohol on your breath and the chemicals in the machine. The reaction is then calibrated with a photocell to convert it to an electrical signal. This signal then turns a needle that indicates your BAC.
Although this may seem technologically advanced, and therefore precise, this is not always true. If there is an improper mixing of chemical mixtures, it can throw off the testing. Additionally, should the photocell be old or corroded, this can alter your results. Lastly, mechanical failure with the needle may make it seem like you have a BAC over the legal limit.
If you have been charged with DWI or DUI, there is a chance that problems with your BAC testing gave you incorrect results. An experienced attorney can help you find these problems and get your charges reduced or even dismissed. To discuss your case, contact a DWI lawyer.