Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC is the measurement of alcohol in a person’s blood, based on its weight per unit of volume. The measurement is then converted to a percentage, and is used to determine the legal status of whether or not somebody is driving under the influence. Most people know that a BAC of .08 percent or higher will get you slapped with a DUI arrest, but depending upon the unique details of your situation, there could be a variety of different factors or even more strict BAC guidelines. Drivers under the age of 21 can get slapped with a DUI charge for having .02 percent BAC, and for truck driver’s, the legal limit is .04 percent.

Field Sobriety Tests

A field sobriety test in Mississippi typically consists of three pars. These tests have been recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and consist of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the Walk and Turn Test and the One Leg Stand Test. Law enforcement officers should be properly trained on how to administer and assess these tests, but there can certainly be some subjectivity involved. A variety of potential health factors could impact a person’s field sobriety test.

Implied Consent

Under Mississippi’s implied consent law, drivers are required to take a breath, blood or urine test if they’re arrested for a DUI. The evidence obtained in these tests is only admissible if the arrest was deemed lawful. It is possible to refuse these tests, but you will most likely still be charged with DUI in the State of Mississippi. Your best option is to contact your attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.

High BAC vs. LOW BAC

Cases involving high BAC are often taken much more seriously than cases with low BAC. If you were arrested with more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in your system, you could be facing some pretty stiff penalties, especially if this is your second or third offense. It’s also possible to have a little more leeway with cases involving low BAC’s. If you were right around .08 percent, you need to talk to your lawyer about options and potential outcomes for your case and your unique situation.

Blood Test

More accurate than the breath test, the blood test is typically taken back at the station after an arrest. The law enforcement officers will usually try to get this test done a soon as possible after an arrest.

Blood Test Refusal and Failure Consequences

Due to the implied consent law in Mississippi, even if you refuse a blood test, you can still be charged with DUI. After refusing a breath, blood or urine test, the Department of Public Safety will likely try to suspend your license, and you will get scheduled for a test refusal hearing. These hearings usually involve county judges who announce their decisions at the end of the hearing. Failing the blood test will also result in a dui charge, so your top priority after an arrest needs to be speaking with an experienced and proven DUI lawyer.

Breath Test

The breath test is also known by its popular brand name the Breathalyzer. Most people who have ever watched an episode of Cops or who have been suspected or arrested for driving under the influence are familiar with. The breath test consists of blowing into a handheld device with a tube on the end. The device then measures (or attempts to measure) an estimate of the alcohol content in your body through your breath. These tests are notoriously inaccurate and undependable. They might provide a close estimate, at best, and you don’t want a machine’s best guess to stand between you and freedom.

Breath Test Refusal and Failure Consequences

Likewise, refusing a blood, breath or urine test will typically result in a DUI charge, a suspension of license and a breath test refusal hearing. It is possible to get a temporary license in the mean time, so you can still get to work and run necessary daily errands. Depending upon the unique circumstances of your individual case, you and your attorney can discuss options for your defense strategy.

When to Call a DUI Attorney in Jackson

After any kind of arrest, it’s important to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. If you or somebody you love has been arrested for driving under the influence in or around the Jackson Metro Area, contact the proven DUI attorneys at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (877) 231-1600 for an immediate consultation.

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