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Car Accident BAC Levels

Eggshell Head Plaintiff

Brien Roche

In any car accident case, BAC levels need to be of concern to an attorney.  BAC stands for Blood (Breath)Alcohol Content.  It is measured by the police through a breathalyzer test given at the station under controlled circumstances.  It can also be determined through the actual drawing of blood.  That is not done by the police. It is done if a healthcare provider who is allowed to draw blood.  

Car Accident BAC Levels-Up or Down

BAC levels can be tricky.  The question in any car accident case is not what the BAC was at the time of the test.  The issue is what was the BAC level at the time of the crash.  Therefore you need to know what the time interval was between the crash and the drawing of the blood. 

You also need to know the amount of alcohol consumed by the person.  In addition you want to know how much food was consumed during the period of time of imbibing.  Likewise the gender and physical characteristics of the person all may be important.  What this may produce is a picture where BAC level at the time of the crash is .02.  That is well under the statutory limit.  However three hours later the BAC level is .09.  That is over the statutory limit.  Five hours later the BAC level may be .06.  Likewise that is under the statutory limit.

The point to be made is that the BAC level tends to rise, it peaks and then it falls.  The trick is to find out when did it peak.  Once you can determine that, then you can probably determine what the BAC level was at the time of the crash.

Car Accident BAC Levels-After Death

In fatal crashes, blood is not going to be drawn at the scene.  The decedent may not be taken to the hospital. Instead he may be pronounced dead at the scene.  Likewise the body may remain at the scene for some period of time.  Eventually the body will be taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office.  That office could be nearby or it could be a considerable distance away.  The body may be transported in a refrigerated van.  On the other hand, it may not be. 

All of those issues are important in determining what the true BAC  level was at the time of the crash.

Fermentation

When a person passes away, fermentation may occur within their body.  Fermentation is a natural process.  It literally is the extraction of energy from carbohydrates.  The word “fermentation” comes from the Latin and it means “to boil”.  What is happening in the human body after death is literally a boiling of those carbohydrates.  If there is yeast present, and yeast is present almost everywhere, then the yeast can break down carbohydrates or sugar-rich molecules.  They produce alcohol and also carbon dioxide.  

Therefore in a death case you need to know the temperatures that the body was exposed to, the lapse of time between death and the drawing of the blood, the temperature of any transport vehicles and the extent to which the body was exposed to any contamination.  That is, if the body was exposed to non-sterile conditions, bacteria, yeast or fungi, that may hasten the fermentation process.  

The fermentation actually produces alcohol from carbohydrates or sugars.  Yeast and bacteria facilitate that process.

These are all things that need to be known in terms of evaluating BAC levels in any type of car accident case.  

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on drunk drivers see the Wikipedia pages. Also see the post on this site dealing with drunk drivers.

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Car Accident BAC Levels

Eggshell Head Plaintiff

Brien Roche

In any car accident case, BAC levels need to be of concern to an attorney.  BAC stands for Blood (Breath)Alcohol Content.  It is measured by the police through a breathalyzer test given at the station under controlled circumstances.  It can also be determined through the actual drawing of blood.  That is not done by the police. It is done if a healthcare provider who is allowed to draw blood.  

Car Accident BAC Levels-Up or Down

BAC levels can be tricky.  The question in any car accident case is not what the BAC was at the time of the test.  The issue is what was the BAC level at the time of the crash.  Therefore you need to know what the time interval was between the crash and the drawing of the blood. 

You also need to know the amount of alcohol consumed by the person.  In addition you want to know how much food was consumed during the period of time of imbibing.  Likewise the gender and physical characteristics of the person all may be important.  What this may produce is a picture where BAC level at the time of the crash is .02.  That is well under the statutory limit.  However three hours later the BAC level is .09.  That is over the statutory limit.  Five hours later the BAC level may be .06.  Likewise that is under the statutory limit.

The point to be made is that the BAC level tends to rise, it peaks and then it falls.  The trick is to find out when did it peak.  Once you can determine that, then you can probably determine what the BAC level was at the time of the crash.

Car Accident BAC Levels-After Death

In fatal crashes, blood is not going to be drawn at the scene.  The decedent may not be taken to the hospital. Instead he may be pronounced dead at the scene.  Likewise the body may remain at the scene for some period of time.  Eventually the body will be taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office.  That office could be nearby or it could be a considerable distance away.  The body may be transported in a refrigerated van.  On the other hand, it may not be. 

All of those issues are important in determining what the true BAC  level was at the time of the crash.

Fermentation

When a person passes away, fermentation may occur within their body.  Fermentation is a natural process.  It literally is the extraction of energy from carbohydrates.  The word “fermentation” comes from the Latin and it means “to boil”.  What is happening in the human body after death is literally a boiling of those carbohydrates.  If there is yeast present, and yeast is present almost everywhere, then the yeast can break down carbohydrates or sugar-rich molecules.  They produce alcohol and also carbon dioxide.  

Therefore in a death case you need to know the temperatures that the body was exposed to, the lapse of time between death and the drawing of the blood, the temperature of any transport vehicles and the extent to which the body was exposed to any contamination.  That is, if the body was exposed to non-sterile conditions, bacteria, yeast or fungi, that may hasten the fermentation process.  

The fermentation actually produces alcohol from carbohydrates or sugars.  Yeast and bacteria facilitate that process.

These are all things that need to be known in terms of evaluating BAC levels in any type of car accident case.  

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on drunk drivers see the Wikipedia pages. Also see the post on this site dealing with drunk drivers.
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