Will working with a chemical that is all ethanol elevate breathalyzer and blood tests and if so how do i argue this in dui case

Asked over 3 years ago - Wisconsin Rapids, WI

i was recently pulled over for speeding which ended up in a dui. I did have 3 or 4 mgd 64's but did not yhink i was impared at all. breathalyzer showed .10, blood tests came back at .122. We are in the process of opening a new store, 75,000 sq. ft. and have been stripping floors for a week with a chemical called bare bones which contains ethanol and butoxyethanol. I am working 70 hrs a week to make ends meet. Lawyers say I have a good case but I don't have thousands of dollars to hire one. I would just take the dui and pay the fine, but since I had a dui in 1993, if by chance I would ever get another one It would be considered my 3rd offence. please help me

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Andrew Mishlove

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . My colleague, Manny Daskal, is correct as usual. Your case presents issues that are both legally and scientifically complicated. A a breath or blood test could be elevated by the chemicals in the floor stripper. The state will probably argue that it does not matter where the ethanol came from, as long as it was in your system - since it is illegal to drive with a prohibited amount of ethanol in your body. Obviously, the intent of the law is to prohibit people from drinking too much and then driving. It will take a skilled lawyer to deal with a case such as yours. The National College for DUI Defense is a great reference.
    My best regards,
    Andrew Mishlove

  2. Karyn T. Missimer

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with the first two answers. In fact, not only do you need an attorney on your side, but you may need an expert, as well. An attorney could have you or your co-workers testify about your exposure. And an attorney could argue your exposure to the chemicals through your skin, breathing, etc. elevated your BAC. An expert, however, could explain how this happens and how your BAC could go from under a .08 to a .12 due to the exposure. An expert may also be able to show your BAC was under a .08 at the time you were driving. This is called a retrograde extapoliation defense.

    Again, the prosecution will likely argue it does not matter how the alcohol was ingested, it was there. The answer may be an involuntary intoxication defense.

    If you are in a municipal court, you may have a trial to the judge. Then, appeal to the circuit court where you may have a jury. Maybe, you could handle the municipal trial yourself, then hire an attorney for the circuit court/jury trial to save some money.

    You could purchase a few hours of an attorney's time to help you prepare to try this case yourself, especially if it is in municipal court rather than circuit court. If you are in circuit court already, however, you only get one kick at the cat. And, a jury trial may be better than a court trial.

    No matter what, your chances will increase exponentially with an attorney on your side; and your chances may be better with a jury rather than a judge depending on the circumstances.

    If you do not want to hire an attorney and want to accept the consequences, the answer would be to never drink and drive again.

    Good luck!

  3. Manny Daskal

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Sorry to butt in from another state.(CA) But, you can't afford not to hire a lawyer, all the consequences you are facing are much more substantial. I would consult with a DUI specialist to get a better understanding of what the consequences are. Your cases is very defensible but requires a substantial amount of expertise. Look at the National College for Dui Defense(NCDD) website and find a lawyer from your area. These are some of the best lawyers in the country and they may not even charge a consultation fee, but do it. You can't afford not to..

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