Driving Under the Influence

VEHICLE CODE SECTION 23152(b) - .08% OR HIGHER

This section prohibits driving a "motor vehicle" with a tested blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. This is not as cut and dried as most people would think on first impression. First, the tests used are often inaccurate, and even vary in their readings from person to person. Even the blood tests are often inaccurate, as they do not use the same testing procedures as blood tests performed by medical professionals. Second, the tests cannot determine a person‘s blood alcohol level at the time of driving, which is the important point in time.

Police departments frequently change the devices that they use to test blood alcohol levels, claiming that the "new" devices are more accurate. They have all been fatally flawed over the years, and will likely continue to be inaccurate in the future, particularly breath devices. Police departments succumb to the desire to have devices that are quick and easy to use, overlooking the inherent problems with those devices for the sake of convenience. For many years, and until recently, the state allowed urine testing to determine blood alcohol levels, as illogical as that may seem. Common sense tells even those with no scientific training that the levels of a substance in the urine tells little about a person‘s blood alcohol level at any given time. The state only grudgingly abandoned that practice, and still offers it as a backup test!

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