Your BAC level refers to the amount of blood alcohol content tested in your system. This can be obtained through a portable breath test (PBT), intoxilyzer test, or blood draw. In Utah if you are suspected of a DUI, you can almost guarantee the officer involved will test for your BAC through at least one, most likely two, and sometimes all three of these testing methods. The PBT, is the small hand held device the officer may have you blow into at the scene of the stop. This is administered in almost every DUI case because most officers hae ready access to these simple devices. The PBT is the least reliable of the testing methods and is not admissible as evidence in court to establish your BAC level because of the unreliability of the test. This is why most often, the police officer will give you another breath test at the station from the intoxilyzer machine which is more reliable and which is admissible to show a BAC level in court. The intoxilyzer machine is the large machine which will give you a receipt indicating, among other things, your BAC.
It is not common practice for the police to do a blood draw in very case, but it does happen under some circumstances such as if you were injured in an accident and can’t readily take a breath test or if a breath test fails to properly register. It is important to note, Utah law requires you submit to any chemical tests if suspected of a DUI, including a blood draw, or your license can be suspended for long period of time. The BAC level is usually the most significant evidence against you in a DUI charge so it is important to speak with a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney about the results.
BAC Levels Effect on Plea Agreements
Generally speaking, the higher your BAC, the less likely the prosecutor will be willing to negotiate on the resolution of your case. A BAC level of .12 and above can result in higher penalties including the requirement that an ignition interlock be installed in all vehicles you drive. An interlock device is the machine installed in your vehicle which require you to blow into and not register any alcohol or your vehicle can’t be started. If your BAC proves to be twice the legal limit, most prosecutors will be unwilling to come down significantly on the DUI charge. This is one reason why is it so important to have an experienced Provo DUI Defense Lawyer representing you. Even in cases involving high BACs, we have had success in dismissing cases all together or getting favorable plea agreements on our clients behalf. Even though you may have a high BAC level, there may be other issues in your case which can still result in a strong overall defense.