Blood, Breath, and Urine Tests
If you’re pulled over and show signs of intoxication, you may have to prove your sobriety through a test of your blood alcohol content, or BAC. BAC is most commonly tested through blood, breath, or urine. If you fail a BAC test and are convicted of a DUI, you may face serious consequences like hefty fines, jail time, driver’s education classes, supervised probation, license suspension, sky rocketing insurance premiums, and job loss.
If you’re arrested for a DUI in Pennsylvania, you are required by law to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. If you refuse to take a test, you could face consequences for both the DUI and for the refusal. Refusing to take a BAC test results in a one-year license suspension for first time offenders. Don’t risk your life and freedom by driving while intoxicated, and continue reading to learn more about DUI testing methods.
- Blood Tests – Blood tests are the most accurate method of measuring BAC. Falsely high readings can occur when a testing lab fails to adhere to best practices and standards, and doesn’t sterilize equipment or preserve samples properly. Otherwise, however, blood test results are a reliable indicator of blood alcohol content.
- Breath Tests – Breath tests are administered via a breathalyzer, a portable machine that you blow air into. It measures how much alcohol is in the air that you exhale. This measurement of alcohol content in the exhaled air is then multiplied by a number which is supposed to represent how blood alcohol and exhaled air alcohol content correlate on average. This average is not always an accurate reflection of someone’s blood alcohol content and a number of conditions could lead to a false reading on a breath test. Throwing up, burping, tooth medication, mouthwash, and even mints can lead to a falsely high breathalyzer reading.
- Urine Tests – Urine tests are the least accurate BAC testing method. This method also involves calculating an average based on how alcohol in the urine generally corresponds with alcohol in the blood. As with breathalyzers, these averages are not always reliable. The urine in someone’s bladder may have a high alcohol content if they have not emptied it since ingesting alcohol, even if it is no longer in their bloodstream, leading to a falsely high reading. This testing method can also give falsely low readings when someone has had a lot to drink but has been routinely emptying their bladder.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, contact a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney today at (412) 281-2146. A conviction could seriously affect your life, wallet, and driving privileges for years to come. Don’t risk the potentially lifelong consequences of having a DUI on your record.