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Whenever drivers are pulled over by police for suspicion of DUI or driving under the influence, a breath test is done. This test helps determine if the driver’s blood alcohol level crossed the legal limit for blood alcohol. Let us say that you had a few glasses of wine at an office party and then pulled over by police as you were driving on your way home for suspected DUI. After talking to the police for a few minutes, they may have smelled alcohol on your breath which led you to take the breath test after undergoing other sobriety tests. So must you be frightened?

Testing Your Blood Alcohol Concentration

If you are impaired by the wine you had consumed then why did you get behind the wheel in the first place? Unfortunately, the police have a responsibility to detect alcohol levels in suspected drunken drivers and have them removed from the streets for the safety of all road users. So, if they had suspected you to be impaired, then they will pull you over and have you tested. In Florida, the common DUI test that the police carry out is the breath test which they have to do within 20 minutes; otherwise they are violation of the Florida law.

If you are indeed intoxicated, this will be determined by the BAC or blood alcohol concentration level by blood, urine or breath testing. The breath test was introduced in the 1940’s, but the breathalyzer was only introduced in 1954 and then consistently used until today.

How Breath Is Tested For Alcohol

When you drink alcohol, it shows up in your breath as it gets absorbed from the mouth, throat, stomach, then intestines, through the blood stream. The fact is, alcohol is not digested once absorbed, nor does it chemically change in the bloodstream. Once the blood goes through the lungs, some of the alcohol crosses the membranes of the alveoli – lung’s air sacs into the air as the alcohol will evaporate from a solution. It is the alcohol concentration in the alveolar air that is associated to the alcohol concentration in blood. Once you exhale, the alcohol concentration can be detected by the breathalyzer once you are tested on the spot.

The legal limit of the alcohol concentration is 0.08 and it is a standard limit in many states. So if your BAC measures 0.08, then you have 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100ml of blood. If your breath test results show less than this then you will not be arrested for DUI. However, if you cross the limit then you can expect the police to detain you.

The Necessity Of Hiring A DUI Lawyer

In the event that you fail a breath test and you are arrested for DUI, then what you will need is the services of a reliable DUI lawyer. It may seem that the breath test is always accurate, but the fact is, it is not always reliable based on different factors, thus providing you with numerous defense options. If you have certain health conditions that can affect your blood alcohol levels, then your lawyer can present this in court, thus rendering the breath test unreliable. As such, even if you do reach a BAC of 0.015, a DUI lawyer can still help you have all DUI charges reduced or dismissed.

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Valerie Allans is a freelance writer specializing in drinking under the influence claims. She regularly contributes articles to legal websites focusing on DUI criminal defense in Gainesville where well experienced lawyers can be consulted.