Blood alcohol content is regarded as the amount or the measurement of alcohol that is present in the blood. A chemical BAC test works by means of measuring the weight of alcohol in a particular amount of blood sample and is represented in terms of percentage. The higher the level of alcohol present in an individual’s blood, the more he is prone to driving accidents. This is why driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while intoxicated is very dangerous.

Two different types of chemical BAC testing

Chemical testing is usually carried out by the use any of the two methods, namely breath testing and blood testing. Among these two, blood is more accurate than breath. However, neither of them is incapable. If you are above 21 years of age in California, you are required to undergo chemical testing after having been arrested for DUI. At first, police officers will usually ask an individual to perform a field sobriety test. After that, or if a person refuses to take the test, he will be arrested and will be required to submit to a chemical BAC testing. This test will determine a person’s Blood Alcohol Content immediately. Refusing a breath and blood test after being arrested can lead to a longer suspension of driver’s license as well as DUI conviction in a court of law.

Breath testing

It is important to differentiate pre-arrest from post-arrest breath test. Pre-arrest breath test which is conducted with a hand-held device is voluntary. You have the right to decline it. Post-arrest breath test is required by the law are conducted using evidentiary machines. These machines are used to measure the air from the lung’s air sacs and test for alcohol. A lot of officers on the road rely on breath alcohol testing devices in order to determine the BAC of the suspects. Breathalyzer is one type of breath alcohol testing devices used by police officers today. Breathalyzers must be properly maintained and operated by trained individuals.

Blood testing

A blood test is more reliable and accurate method to determine the BAC of a person than a breath test. This is basically performed by drawing a person’s blood by an experienced medical professional or a doctor. The blood sample is then analyzed at a later date after it is taken. Individuals can also request the blood sample for independent analysis. Only qualified and experienced individuals can perform blood test on another individual because the method in drawing the blood can have an immediate impact on the results of the test.

Factors that can affect the result of breath test and blood test

There are factors which can make the chemical tests unreliable and can be contested, or maybe not allowable in a court of law. Non-sterile test tubes, lack of sufficient preservatives and anticoagulants can spoil blood tests. Breath tests are also vulnerable to attack if breathalyzers are not properly maintained or checked regularly. Presence of mouth alcohol can also alter the results of breath testing.