You may have heard someone was acquitted in a drunk driving /DWI case because his blood alcohol was on the rise. What exactly does that mean? What does that defense entail?
When alcohol is consumed, it takes time for it to enter the bloodstream. Impairment is not instant. Alcohol must reach the brain before there are any mental and ensuing physical impairments that ultimately affect operating a vehicle.
In Missouri, the charge of driving while intoxicated requires the government to prove impairment, and/or BAC of .08 or above, at the time of driving and NOT at the time of testing.
One has to be under the influence, or be .08 or above, at the time of operating their vehicle and not at a later time when a chemical test is being performed.
Rising blood alcohol defense can be persuasive when a person has been stopped a short time after drinking. It takes time for alcohol to enter the bloodstream and to increase the BAC. While the blood alcohol concentration is on the rise, expert testimony can very well place one’s BAC lower than .08 at the time of driving.
Of course, much of this defense depends on various factors and no two situations are the same. But, generally speaking, if one’s blood alcohol level is on the rise at the time of driving, this defense can be quite effective.