Facing charges for driving under the influence, or DUI, in Omaha can be a frightening experience. Given the harsh judicial and non-judicial consequences of a conviction, it is imperative that you explore all possible defenses if you are currently facing DUI charges. One defense that your Omaha Nebraska DUI attorney may suggest is the “rising alcohol level defense” or RAL. In cases where you blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, was close to the legal limit and you consumed alcohol just prior to driving, the rising alcohol level defense could prevent a conviction.
The RAL defense is based on the science of alcohol absorption. When you drink alcohol, or ingest it in any way, the alcohol is absorbed into your blood stream. As it is absorbed your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, rises. Eventually, you will reach your “peak absorption rate”. When a breath test is taken an hour after you were driving and as you reach the peak absorption rate, the result are higher than when you were actually operating a vehicle. If you drank just prior to driving the RAL defense may be applicable.
To illustrate, let’s say that you arrived at a party at 11:00 and had not been drinking alcoholic beverages prior to arriving there. Immediately after you arrived, you drank two shots of tequila. Soon thereafter you get an urgent call that you need to come home immediately so you get in your car and drive. You are pulled over shortly thereafter and ultimately arrested for DUI. The test results may very well not reflect what your BAC was at the time you were driving.
Alcohol can take anywhere from about 45 minutes to three hours to completely absorb into your blood stream. Factors that can impact how fast alcohol is absorbed include:
- Whether you ate prior to drinking
- Whether you ate any food while drinking
- How quickly you consumed the alcohol
- The type of alcohol you drank (beer, wine, liquor)
- Your weight
- Your sex
- Your blood-to-breath partition ratio which refers to the ratio of the relationship between the alcohol measured in your breath and the alcohol measured in your blood.
In the above example, even assuming you absorbed the alcohol relatively fast it would still be rising at the time of the breath test, providing a false result. That fact may be able to be present this defense by an experienced Nebraska DUI defense attorney.
If you have been arrested for an Omaha Nebraska DUI and want to explore the rising alcohol level defense in your case, consult with an experienced Omaha Nebraska DUI attorney as soon as possible. For a free case evaluation, contact Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180.