The Different Types of BAC Chemical Tests

When you consume alcohol and you drive in Arizona, chances are that you’ll have to face the consequences of your decision. To establish your intoxication, law enforcement professionals will do a chemical BAC test. While a blood draw will often be required to check the concentration of alcohol in your blood, this isn’t the only option. Let us see the types of BAC chemical tests done by law enforcers.

The Breath Test

The use of a breathalyzer to check the concentration of alcohol is the first type of chemical test that will be administered.

Because the method is simple and easy to administer, it’s the most commonly used one in Arizona. The breathalyzer can measure the alcohol that passes through the alveoli in the lungs and is then exhaled.

Depending on the type of breathalyzer being used and the experience of the professional administering the test, this one is considered quite reliable in terms of establishing an eventual intoxication.

A breath test, however, is not as accurate as a blood test. Certain medical conditions, the use of topical applications in the mouth and even mouthwash could result in a false positive.

The market features commercially available breathalyzers that Arizona residents can use before getting in the car. Such equipment can be somewhat beneficial but it isn’t as accurate as the breathalyzers used by the police.

Blood Tests – The Most Accurate Option

Very often, a blood draw will be required to test for intoxication. Blood tests are highly accurate. They can detect alcohol, pharmaceutical products and illegal drugs in the blood of the suspect.

This is the most accurate method utilized in police labs. While there is still some room for error (due to a failure to follow the respective procedure or inexperience on behalf of the administrator), blood tests will typically provide adequate and reliable results.

If police officers ask you to provide blood for testing, you will have to comply. Arizona is an implied consent state. If you refuse providing blood, your license will be revoked automatically. Even if you do not provide your consent, it is still possible for the police officer to get a warrant and move forward with the test.

BAC Urine Tests

A final possibility that can once again be used to detect alcohol and drugs in the body is the BAC urine test.

This test is much less accurate than both the breathalyzer and the blood test. This is why the option may be relied on when it’s not feasible to do the other types of BAC tests.

Depending on the situation, urine test results can show much higher or lower alcohol concentrations than the one stemming from the respective consumption. Usually, such a test cannot be administered whenever a driver is pulled over or immediately after an accident occurs. The time required to get to a police lab is also going to have an impact on the test result.

types of bac chemical testsKeep in mind that alcohol needs about two hours from the consumption to appear in a urine sample. In addition, it can remain in a person’s system for up to 24 hours – two facts that demonstrate just how problematic such a BAC chemical test can be.

A final thing that may have an impact on the test result is that unlike other BAC chemical tests, urine tests can be tampered with. Dilution with water, for example, can easily result in a false negative test after the consumption of alcohol.

Such a test may prove beneficial in cases when a person has been prohibited to drink alcohol or take drugs by an Arizona court. Since traces of such substances will remain in the body for a certain period of time, the urine test will prove quite beneficial for establishing long-term abstinence. In any case always consult a criminal defense lawyer whatever types of BAC chemical tests are demanded of you.