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If you get pulled over for drunk driving, which should you do: breath test or blood test?

You’ve had 3 beers with friends and decide to drive home since you only live a mile from the bar. Just your luck, a cop stops you. You’re asked to blow into the Breathalyzer machine, what now?! Submitting to a Breathalyzer test before you have been arrested is voluntary, so you have every right to refuse this, and chances are you should to avoid incriminating yourself to drunk driving. If you fail the field sobriety tests and are arrested, it is now mandatory that you submit to a Breathalyzer OR a blood test, your choice. You’ve heard the age-old cliché, “don’t blow, wait to be taken down to the station and opt for the blood test”, but in actuality which gives you a better chance at getting out of a DUI? The answer, it depends.

First, you have to understand how breath and blood tests work. When you drink, the alcohol takes time to absorb into your system. If you blow into the Breathalyzer 5 minutes after you finish drinking, you will most likely blow below the legal limit because the alcohol hasn’t been fully absorbed into your system yet. Science has proven that the opposite can happen also; blowing into the Breathalyzer immediately after drinking could cause an artificial high reading.

If you finished drinking a few hours ago, your alcohol level may have been absorbed and your system may have reached equilibrium, this will cause you to get a reading with the Breathalyzer that’s is over the legal limit. In this situation, it’s best to wait to do the blood test to give your body a chance to rid itself of some of the alcohol in your system.

Keep in mind, it’s not against the law to have a drink and then drive, it is however against the law to be impaired due to drinking and drive. If you get pulled over and a cop asks “have you been drinking, how much have you had and when did you stop drinking”, be honest. The worst thing a driver can do is say “I’ve only had a few beers, a few hours ago” because you will be held accountable to that statement in court.  At “2 beers, 2 hours ago” your blood is fully absorbed with alcohol and you will most likely blow over the legal limit.

Individual biology and metabolism can also affect the results of a breath or blood test. The fermentation of alcohol, preservatives used when testing your blood in the vile and human error can all account for an inaccurate reading. If you are cited with DUI, you will have the best chances of defending yourself against the penalties for a DUI, including Driver’s License Suspension, by hiring the best DUI LawyerSanta Barbara DUI Attorney Kenneth M. Hallum offers a free case consultation. Call today 805-564-3101. Know your rights, options and defenses against drunk driving.

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About Santa Barbara DUI Attorney Kenneth M. Hallum:
As a DUI defense attorney, Kennnth Hallum is dedicated to an understanding of the art and science of California DUI defense with memberships in the California DUI Lawyers Association, the National College of DUI Defense, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the California Public Defenders Association, and the State Bar of California.

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