How Are Chemical Tests for Intoxication Measured?

Law enforcement officials in Wisconsin can collect evidence of intoxication from a person suspected of drunk driving through chemical tests. Chemical tests, which analyze a suspect's blood or breath for alcohol, can be used against individuals when they face trials for drunk driving charges. The science behind chemical tests can be a bit obscure; this post looks at the statute that defines how chemical tests are measured in Wisconsin.

First, many people know that if a person's blood alcohol concentration is in excess of .08 that he can be arrested for drunk driving. However, not many people know what .08 represents. According to the Wisconsin State Legislature, a test for blood alcohol concentration measures the number of grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or the number of grams of alcohol per 210 milliliters of breath.

If the grams of alcohol measured per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 milliliters of breath exceeds .08, then a person is generally believed to be drunk when driving. Different evaluations can apply when a person's blood alcohol concentration measures below .08 but above .01. Attorneys who work in the drunk driving defense area of law can discuss these evaluations with their clients and the specific ramifications of different findings on their drunk driving cases.

A breath test or a blood test can reveal some information about the amount of alcohol in a person's system. Individuals facing blood and breath tests can refuse to submit to testing; breath test refusals can carry with them serious consequences as well. How a person chooses to face a chemical test is up to him, but if he finds himself facing criminal charges for drunk driving he may always choose to fight those charges with a well-prepared defense strategy.