Blood Alcohol Content level (BAC level)


BAC is the abbreviated word used when referring to Blood Alcohol Content. There are different limits for different drivers in the State of Nevada

0.02% for drivers under 21 years old

0.04% for commercial license holders

0.08% for all other drivers.

The 0.08% limit is a ‘per se’ law in most states in the US. "Per se," is Latin for "by itself." In other words, if you are over the legal limit of 0.08, you are considered intoxicated regardless of your actual state of impairment. The theory is the police don’t have to prove anything else; if your BAC is above 0.08 you are per se driving under the influence. No matter how sober you feel.  The reality is that thee are countless evidentiary rules and procedures that do cloud the conclusion of the BAC test.  For example, did the office have probable cause to stop the driver in the first place or was the stop a violation of the drivers constitutional protection from unreasonable searches.  Was the breathalyzer well maintained and properly calibrated.  Was the individual that did the blood draw qualified by state law. Was there a valid chain of custody for the blood sample form the drivers arm all the way to the testing lab.  There can be countless other evidentiary problems for the prosecution.  This is why an attorney experienced specifically in DUI defense is critical.

The BAC applies only to alcohol. Other illegal substances might also be detected by a blood test but not by a breath test.

Under Nevada law, if you are requested to do so by a police officer, you must submit to BAC testing.  This falls under the “Implied consent law” which means you implicitly give consent to BAC testing when getting into a vehicle to drive.  If you refuse all testing a warrant will be acquired to compel the test.  Incidentally, failure to consent to the test will result in the automatic suspension of your drivers license regardless of the results of the test.

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