Three types of testing determine a driver’s BAC, or blood alcohol content. In some jurisdictions, drivers can choose the test they take; in others, some types of testing are not offered. The tests are done with breath, urine or blood analysis, and they are described in greater detail below.
The Breath Test
This is the most common test, and it measures a person’s blood alcohol concentration after they breathe into a specially designed machine. Breath tests rely on the amount of alcohol absorbed into the lungs, and are inaccurate because they might measure residues in the digestive system rather than in the blood. A DUI lawyer in Hattiesburg MS can often challenge the validity of breath test results.
Blood testing is the most accurate way to determine blood alcohol concentration, and it requires law enforcement officers to take a blood sample for testing.
This is the least accurate alcohol testing method, and the time since a person’s final drink and the test can significantly impact the results. Urinalysis can also measure drug content, but some police departments have ceased using it due to its high inaccuracy. Defense Attorney at T. Michael Reed may be able to successfully challenge urine test results.
Which Test Should One Take?
If a person is given a choice of BAC testing methods, they should keep in mind that blood testing is the most reliable method. Submission to a blood test may result in additional criminal liability if other substances are in the blood, or it could show nothing in the driver’s bloodstream. Urine and breath testing are far less accurate, and they are vulnerable to challenges from a DUI lawyer in Hattiesburg MS.
The Difference Between Field Sobriety and Chemical Testing
If one is pulled over for suspected drunk driving, the officer first asks them to take field sobriety tests. These tests typically require a driver to recite the alphabet from Z to A, walk in a straight line, move their finger to their nose, and follow a pen or light with their eyes.
Field sobriety tests are strictly voluntary, and drivers need not submit. Various studies have proven that these tests are designed heavily in favor of law enforcement, and they give police more evidence to make an arrest. Those facing DUI charges should consider hiring a DUI lawyer in Hattiesburg MS to evaluate their case and recommend possible defenses.