Blood Alcohol Content

BAC Level in New York

Rochester Lawyer Fighting Blood Alcohol Content Evidence

In New York State, it is prohibited for a driver to drive a car with a BAC over 0.08%. If you have driven above the legal BAC limit, you can face serious penalties including jail time, monetary fines and alcohol treatment programs if convicted of DWI.

Being accused of a drunk driving offense in Rochester can carry serious penalties, ranging from time behind bars to fines and other repercussions lasting years beyond the initial arrest. One of the most significant factors that determines what kind of sentencing you may find yourself facing is the results of a breath, blood, or urine test. These tests measure your blood alcohol content, which is the primary determination of whether or not you were breaking the law.

I am a Rochester DWI defense lawyer with 20 years of experience serving the community in Upstate New York. As a former DWI Bureau Chief in Monroe County, I know all of the ways that BAC may not tell the true story in a DWI arrest, and can help you fight back against accusations. Find out more by calling my firm today!

Drove over the legal BAC limit in New York? Speak with our defense attorney today to start your defense

What Affects Blood Alcohol Content?

The premise of a minimum BAC results from the premise that alcohol affects the body and that this interaction affects your ability to drive a car. When you consume alcohol, it is absorbed into your bloodstream and eliminated at a steady rate as it is oxidized within the body and excreted from the body as well. Someone’s BAC level in NY largely depends on the total amount of drinks that you have consumed, how long of a period those drinks were consumed within, and how long it has been since your last alcoholic beverage.

Important factors that can affect a person's blood alcohol content:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Rate of alcohol consumption
  • Strength of the drink
  • Body type and weight
  • Fat and muscle content
  • Metabolism
  • Emotional state
  • Medications
  • Food eaten
  • Alcohol intolerance

Therefore, while BAC is assumed to be an exact science, there are many factors that can have a drastic impact. When you have been stopped for a DWI and your BAC level in NY has been tested, you need to speak with an attorney. Nothing is ever as it seems. My firm can help you determine what factors have affected your BAC levels in NY.

If you were pulled over by a police officer under the suspicion of a DWI and submitted to a breathalyzer test, blowing a result that was greater than the legal limit, chances are you were arrested. Your first step should, of course, be to hire an experienced DWI attorney who can diligently protect your rights and ensure the justice system does not take advantage of you. Many individuals often neglect to seek legal help and assume that the results of the breathalyzer are enough to earn them a DWI conviction. However, you would be wrong in this assumption. Breathalyzer test results can be inaccurate and countless individuals have successfully challenged them in court.

Backed by 20 Years of DWI Defense Experience

BAC testing is usually done by taking a blood sample, utilizing a breathalyzer, or testing the urine of someone assumed to be driving under the influence. Considering the wealth of factors that make a difference when determining BAC levels in NY, these tests may not provide an accurate representation of the accused’s ability to operate a vehicle or even their expected BAC while behind the wheel. This means that Christopher K. Rodeman Attorney at Law is your best advocate. Your rights and future depend on these tests, which may not be accurate and may not be a true indication of your level of intoxication. With me by your side, you can know that you have solid defense. 

Contact Christopher K. Rodeman Attorney at Law for a free consultation with an experienced Rochester DWI defense lawyer!

Challenging Breathalyzer Test Results

How does a breathalyzer work? It is essentially calculating your BAC from the air you exhale by multiplying the amount in the air by the number 2,100, which is also known as the “partition ratio.” The partition ratio is generally used since the average person exhales about 1/2100th of the alcohol amount that is in their blood. Unfortunately, this figure is highly speculative since the actual amount can vary over time and from person to person. There are also other variables that are not taken into account, such as respiration rate and body temperature, which could ultimately render the results of this test inaccurate by a long shot.

Moreover, there are other substances in a person’s mouth that could contain alcohol, which could provide a false reading. For example, if you are taking certain toothache medicines, recently used mouthwash, or even burped or vomited prior to taking the breathalyzer test, the results could be far off the mark. This is because the substance’s proximity to the breathalyzer tool could cause it to give off a stronger reading than what your lungs are actually producing.

You should also keep in mind that a breathalyzer is a tool and, like many other tools, is subject to malfunctioning, whether because it was not properly calibrated, not calibrated at all, improperly maintained, or because the officer who used it was not adequately trained on how to operate it.

How Frequently Are Breathalyzers Calibrated?

Every state has its own laws regarding how breathalyzers are to be calibrated. It is not uncommon for recalibration to be required either every 10 days or after 150 uses. There are also some basic guidelines most states follow in order for the breathalyzer’s results to hold up in court, which include:

  • The breathalyzer must be on the list of acceptable devices
  • The breathalyzer must be checked for accuracy at certain intervals and properly maintained
  • The administering officer must be certified in the use of the breathalyzer device and use it in accordance with the training he or she received
  • The breathalyzer test must consistently provide two readings or more that are within .02 percent of each other

How Can it be Proven that a Breathalyzer Test Was Inaccurate?

If you have a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, he or she will review your case and determine what went wrong with your breathalyzer test results. This could involve demonstrating that the administering officer did not obey all of the applicable calibration procedures or arguing that the device was not properly maintained. To accomplish this, your attorney will subpoena the maintenance and calibration records for the breathalyzer that was used during your test.

Ultimately, there are many variables that can lead to an inaccurate breathalyzer reading, which is why you should not assume that the reading you received was accurate. A lot is at stake in a DWI case and you owe it to yourself to do everything you can to protect your future.