As we continue through this holiday season in St. Louis, consider buying your favorite partier a portable breathalyzer for $30.00 to $100.00. While they may not be as accurate as police testing for DUI, they are valuable in helping someone realize they need to call a cab. I regularly represent people with DUI’s who believe they were not drunk… until we read the police report and see their BAC levels.
How do breathalyzers show your alcohol level during DUI testing? Alcohol (ethanol) shows up in your breath because it gets absorbed from the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines into your bloodstream. Ethanol is not digested upon absorption, nor chemically changed in the bloodstream. As the blood travels through your lungs, some of the ethanol moves across the membranes of the lung’s air sacs (which are called alveoli) into the air. The concentration of the alcohol in the alveolar air is related to the concentration of the alcohol in the blood. For you science and math people… the ratio of breath alcohol to blood alcohol is 2,100:1. This means that 2,100 milliliters (ml) of alveolar air will contain the same amount of alcohol as 1 ml of blood.
As the alcohol in your alveolar air is exhaled, police can detect it by a breath alcohol testing device. The American Medical Association touts that a person can become impaired when the blood alcohol level hits as little as 0.05. 0.08 is the legal limit in Missouri. If a person’s BAC measures 0.08, it means that there are 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.
While we are often able to resolve a first DUI in the St. Louis area with a Suspended Imposition of Sentence (which results in no conviction if you complete a long probationary period and other requirements), you will still have to face a potential administrative suspension through the Department of Revenue.
If you have questions about DUI tickets in the Greater St. Louis area, please do not hesitate to contact me at 314-799-6602. Be safe everyone!
© 2011 The Law Offices of Michelle M. Funkenbusch, LLC. All Rights Reserved. These materials may not be reproduced in any way without the written permission of The Law Offices of Michelle M. Funkenbusch, LLC. This blog is designed to provide general information on the topic provided and is posted with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering any legal or professional services. Although this post and the blog is prepared by a lawyer, it should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. If legal advice is required, the services of The Law Offices of Michelle M. Funkenbusch should be sought privately.