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Alaska DUI Digest

Inaccuracy of Blood Alcohol Level Measurements

Posted by John Roberson III | Jan 23, 2024 | 0 Comments


Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is like the backbone of legal and medical assessments in suspected drunk driving cases. But it's not always as cut-and-dry as prosecutor's make it seem. BAC measurements can get tricky, and they're often under the microscope for their accuracy.

Peeling Back the Layers of BAC Accuracy

  • Breath Tests and Gas Exchange: Think of a breathalyzer as a gadget. It's supposed to measure alcohol in your breath as a mirror to what's in your blood. But  the journey from your lungs to the breathalyzer can change things up. The alcohol level in your breath might get altered along the way, making the breathalyzer's reading a bit of a guesswork (Hlastala & Anderson, 2016).

  • The BAC Measurement Mix-Up: Measuring BAC isn't one-size-fits-all. Whether it's a blood test or a breathalyzer, each method has its own quirks. Your body type, how much and what you drink, even how your body handles alcohol, all play a part in your BAC reading (Carey & Hustad, 2005).

  • Light Drinkers vs. Heavy Drinkers: If you're not a regular drinker, you might think your BAC is higher than it actually is. And for the regulars at the bar, it's the other way around. Self-estimations of BAC can be all over the place (Bullers & Ennis, 2006).

  • Mind and Society Factors: Your mental health or how big your social circle is might seem unrelated, but they can actually influence how you report your drinking habits (Horwitz et al., 1997).

  • Breath Test During Absorption Phase: If you've just downed a drink and immediately take a breath test, the results might show double the actual amount of booze in your blood (Simpson, 1987).

Wrapping Up BAC measurements are a complex mix of science and individual factors. Whether in court or at the doctor's, understanding these variables is key to making sense of BAC readings. And remember, if you ever get caught in a bind with a BAC test, having a knowledgeable lawyer in your corner can make all the difference.

About the Author

John Roberson III

10+ YEARS OF COMBINED CRIMINAL DEFENSE EXPERIENCE 35+ CRIMINAL JURY TRIALS 500+ CASES ANDCHARGES RESOLVED 18+ YEARSIN ALASKA Experienced & Aggressive Criminal Lawyer About Law Office of John H. Roberson III, LLC John brings diverse experience, dedication, and legal knowledge to each ca...


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