Are you having a crisis moment? The worst scenario happened. You drove. You got taken to the station. You were given a BAC test. Then you tested over the Washington legal limit of .08. Now you probably do not feel like fighting. What you are very seriously thinking about is pulling your hair a little, maybe biting your nails or crying for a little, worrying a lot but eventually throwing in the towel, pleading guilty just to get it over with and hoping for a merciful judge.
You did blow an over the legal limit number. So it seems like they have all the science and the law on their side. So the reaction listed above is an understandable one and one that many people have mistakenly also made both before and after you. Since you are examining a defense attorney website it can be assumed for now that you have left your options open. That is good because there are defense options available.
Think about this. How quickly do you metabolize alcohol into and out of your bloodstream? You will not know this – no one could be expected to. It differs from person to person. Here are some easier to answer if more personal in nature questions. How old are you? How tall are you? How much do you weigh? What is your overall health like? Do you have any current but temporary medical ailments that are bothering you? All of these will in part determine just how quick your alcohol metabolises. If you saw a short 90-pound elderly woman and a large twenty-something man drink the exact same drinks would you expect them to respond to the alcohol at different times and perhaps radically differently levels of intoxication as well? Of course you would. The reason you would is that even though you may have never heard this phenomenon described this way – their different physiologies affect their metabolism.
Why is this important? Here’s another question. How long did it take between being stopped and your test being done? Not getting the result – just how long before you were actually taking your test? Was your number at .08? Or was it higher but on the lower end (.09-.12 give or take)? These questions can be important too. It takes the average person between 30 minutes to 3 hours to fully metabolize alcohol into their bloodstream; it slowly rises until it reaches the maximum that it will get and then starts dissipating. What makes the difference is things like age, body type, overall health, current health and drinking history. That is the medical side. On the administrative side is the fact that it usually takes an hour or longer before the police station is able to administer the BAC test after you are brought in.
If you were waiting for an hour or more does it then follow that your BAC was raising that whole time? Yes it does. So why is it so important about the results? Well, if your BAC was rising the whole time and the test is showing .08 then it logically follows that you could not have been at .08 while driving. Though it is perhaps not by choice you are not driving when going through paperwork and getting a test administering. Therefore, it may be inconclusive if your limit is over when you take the test – it is illegal to be .08 or over within two hours of driving.
Will the prosecution be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were over .08 within two hours of driving? If you were pulled over, already in an accident, or even had your car in a ditch then it will make it much harder for them to prove this. Remember that that is what they need to do in order to get a conviction.
Also, perhaps you had alcohol at the vehicle. While this might initially look work, after all an open container is its own ticket, how will they prove that you did not have more to drink after driving? They need to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense shows where the doubt lies and in this case it would be this possibility. Find out if this defense will work for you; if it does not, talk your defense attorney and see what will.
Call or e-mail the law office of Smith & White, PLLC – your free case analysis awaits you.