How do blood alcohol content tests measure intoxication?

Those who are accused of intoxicated driving generally know that charges of this nature are very serious. Law enforcement uses several methods to determine a person's level of sobriety. These include field sobriety tests and blood alcohol content (BAC) tests. The latter category may seem intimidating, so it is important for those in New York to have an idea of how they work and what they may mean to a person's case.

Several different methods can be used to test a person's BAC, but the most commonly-used are breath and blood tests. The latter is not used as often by police, as it is typically seen as invasive. Many types of breath tests exist and typically use different methods to measure the alcohol content of a person's exhaled breath. 

Breath tests are not as precise at measuring BAC as a blood test would be, though they are still fairy accurate. Sometimes, the results can be challenged if the machine was not properly maintained or is otherwise proved to have been inaccurate. However, contrary to popular belief, it is not possible to fool a Breathalyzer test.

Anyone who is accused of driving while intoxicated is presumed innocent unless and until proved guilty in court. This can be helpful as a person prepares to mount a defense. Blood alcohol content tests may be offered as evidence by prosecutors, in addition to any other relevant information they can collect that pertains to the accusations. For this reason, it is very important for anyone in New York to fully understand the charges and potential punishments in order to prepare the best defense possible under the given circumstances.

Source: FindLaw, "BAC Test FAQs", , Sept. 22, 2014

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