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Tennessee Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Tests

BAC-tests-murfreesboroDriving under the influence of alcohol or mind-altering drugs is illegal both in the state of Tennessee, as well as across the nation. Intoxicated drivers are responsible for an enormous amount of automobile accidents every year – and each one could have very well been prevented if the negligent drivers had simply not put themselves behind the wheels of their vehicles.

Tennessee legal authorities take DUI’s very seriously. As with most other states, roadside sobriety exams and blood alcohol content (BAC) tests are used by police officers in order to determine whether a driving is under the influence of alcohol.

Methods Of Testing BAC

Tennessee police officers have 3 ways of testing a driver’s BAC:

  1. Breathalyzer Tests: This is by far the most common test administered to Tennessee drivers. Breathalyzers are used to measure a person’s BAC when they blow air through the device. However, it’s important to remember that, since results from this type of test have been challenged multiple times in the past, it’s far from uncommon for further testing methods to be used in order to confirm the results of the breath test.
  2. Blood Tests: This might be considered the “second level” of BAC testing. Rarely is it the first method used upon suspicion of DUI, but it is becoming increasingly common for it to be applied as a backup measure proceeding breath tests. Results from a blood test are far more precise, and also have the capacity to detect other substances (i.e. drugs) within a person’s system – which could mean further consequences added to a DUI charge.
  3. Urine Tests: These assessments are generally implemented less often than both blood and breath tests. After all, urine might not be “readily available.” This does not necessarily mean that it can be refused – it’s just far more likely that officers will get the results they’re looking for from the other testing methods before urine is requested.

Grounds For DUI Arrests

Blood alcohol content is legally considered to have the following effects on an intoxicated individual depending on the range in which it falls:

  • Little to no impairment symptoms: 0.01% to 0.02%
  • Relaxed muscle usage, difficulty concentrating, slight euphoric tendencies: 0.03% to 0.05%
  • Considerable decrease of inhibitions, weakness in depth perception, impaired reasoning: 0.06% to 0.09%
  • Slow reflexes, loss of motor skill control, emotional instability: 0.10% to 0.19%
  • Loss of consciousness, heavily impaired reasoning, loss of motor skills: 0.20% to 0.29%

The legal limit of BAC when operating a vehicle in Tennessee falls at 0.08%. The exceptions in this case include underage drinks, for whom the limit is 0.02%, and drivers of commercial vehicles, who are legally “impaired” at 0.04%. One of the most crucial things for drivers in this state to remember is that you can still be arrested for DUI even if your BAC falls under the legal limit. The choice to do so is completely at the discretion of the arresting officer.

DUI Attorneys In Nashville

If you’ve been charged with a DUI offense that you don’t deserve, the experienced lawyers at Turner Law Offices, P.C. can help. BAC tests are often far from exact, and there are certainly means of contesting a DUI charge that was ordered based on negligence on behalf of the arresting officer. Consequences can be severe and far reaching, so don’t wait to call and set up an initial consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.