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Rising Blood Alcohol Defense in Maryland DUI Cases

Rising blood alcohol refers to the scientific fact that the level of alcohol in a person’s system does not peak until sometime after the consumption of the alcohol. If someone drinks three beers over the course of an hour, when they finish drinking that third beer, they are going to have a certain blood alcohol level. As the alcohol is processed and metabolized in their system, even if they stopped drinking, the level of alcohol in their blood is going to continue to rise for a period of time and the peak amount will be sometime after they stopped drinking and will start to diminish after that.

Some people who have been charged with a DUI may use this rising blood alcohol as a defense. If you have any questions regarding the rising blood alcohol defense in Maryland DUI cases, consult with a knowledgeable lawyer.

At What Point Will a Person’s BAC be at its Highest?

The point at which a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is the highest varies depending on several different factors, which include:

  • A person’s physiological makeup
  • Type of alcohol
  • The speed at which the amount of alcohol was consumed

Generally, within about 30 minutes to two hours after someone stops drinking, they can reach a peak blood alcohol level.

Evidence Used to Prepare a Defense Involving Rising Blood Alcohol Level

Rising blood alcohol defense in Maryland DUI cases arise because the time in which a person has their blood alcohol level tested, whether through a breathalyzer, a blood test, a urine test, or any other type of test, occurs sometime after the person is driving the motor vehicle. Due to the nature of the offense, the amount of alcohol in a person’s system when they are driving is what matters, but what is technically tested is the amount of alcohol in their system sometime afterward. The person is stopped, there is some level of investigation and, usually, the test occurs back at the police station, possibly a significant period of time after the traffic stop.

Because of the phenomenon of rising blood alcohol, the person’s BAC could continue to rise depending on when they stopped drinking, how much they drank, and many other factors. Even if the test results are accurate for when the test was taken, they may be higher than the amount of alcohol in a person’s system when they were actually driving the vehicle.

The test results essentially inflate what the person’s actual BAC was when they were driving the vehicle. A defense attorney will collect information about the person’s physiological makeup, what they were drinking, when they drank it, and when they stopped drinking. Depending on the timeline and those factors, the lawyer may be able to clearly show that the blood alcohol test results are likely to be much higher than the blood alcohol that was actually in the person’s system when they were driving the vehicle.

Call a Lawyer About Rising Blood Alcohol Defenses in Maryland DUI Cases

Rising blood alcohol can be used as a defense in a few different situations. Most of the time, when a person has stopped drinking closer in time to when they are stopped by police, those are usually the circumstances in which their blood alcohol level would still be rising and has not yet peaked. By the time they are tested, which is usually at least a half-hour but sometimes can be an hour or more after they have stopped driving, then that test is going to catch the blood alcohol as it is continuing to rise.

The defense attorney could layout that timeline and explain to the judge or the jury the phenomenon and nature of the rising blood alcohol, and then apply that to the timeline and the facts in the case to show that the test results are likely an overestimate of the person’s BAC at the time of driving. Call a lawyer today about the rising blood alcohol defense in Maryland DUI cases.

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