Getting pulled over by a police officer can be a nerve-wracking experience. This is especially true if and when an officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test to determine if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit. In Kentucky, a BAC of .08 or higher would be considered over the legal limit.

Kentucky is also an implied consent state which means that simply by getting behind the wheel you are consenting to a breathalyzer test should a police officer request you take one. If you refuse, you could have your license suspended and eventually be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI)

Given the fact that many people, not only in Kentucky but around the country, enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage and that states are very strict about enforcing their drunk driving laws, many are looking for tips or tricks on how to beat a breathalyzer test.

Unfortunately, this is the wrong way to approach the issue. For starters, there really isn’t a trick that will make your BAC appear lower than it really is. Gum, coffee, or a shower might make you more presentable, and it might mask some of the smell of alcohol on your breath, but it will do nothing to lower your BAC.

A better way to think about drinking and driving when it comes to breathalyzers and legal limits is making sure you are safe and your rights are protected. While an officer can request you take a breathalyzer test, there are many things he or she cannot do.

Read on to learn more about blood alcohol content, how to drive safely, and how to protect your rights.

Facts About BAC

How long alcohol stays on your breath or in your system depends on how much you have had to drink. A good rule of thumb is that alcohol is burned off (meaning no longer in your bloodstream) at a rate of .015 grams per hour. Of course, in order to drive legally and safely with a BAC under .08 means you need to know how much you weigh, how much food you have eaten, and how much alcohol you have had (among other factors).

If you estimate that your BAC will peak at .10, that would mean you would need to wait several hours before driving. Of course, your breath might still smell of alcohol, but that will likely take more hours still until that is no longer the case. In some cases, your breath could smell like alcohol for 12 hours or more after drinking.

Of course, the smell of alcohol on your breath is not what really matters, your BAC is. If you think your BAC is going to be over .08, you should either plan to stay the night where you are drinking or find a ride home. 

What To Do When Pulled Over After Drinking

If you are pulled over after you have been drinking, there are several things you can do to protect your rights. 

Several things you can do include:

  • Give an officer your name, driver’s license, and proof of insurance upon request
  • Remain silent and don’t answer any questions
  • Keep your car doors locked and only open your window several inches
  • Tell the officer you would like an independent breathalyzer test if he or she makes you take one (you might have to pay for this)
  • Talk to a lawyer immediately if you think an officer infringed on your rights

A good criminal defense lawyer will know what to look for in your case to see if the officer who pulled you over did anything they shouldn’t have done. If that is the case, it is possible charges could be dropped.