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Blood alcohol charges change with age in Louisiana

The measurement of the amount of alcohol in your blood is known as your blood alcohol concentration. This is most commonly referred to simply as your BAC. There are a few different ways that officers can test for this if they so desire -- perhaps after you have failed field sobriety tests, for instance, and they believe that you are under the influence.

The first tactic is a blood test. However, this is not going to be used in all cases, as many officers will turn to a breath test instead. Generally speaking, though they are not perfectly accurate, these are thought to yield the same results.

The way that the test comes back is very important when looking at your charges, seeing as how the BAC needed for those charges to be leveled is different depending on your age.

The most commonly cited number is 0.08, which is the concentration that most drivers are not allowed to exceed. This is by no means exclusive to Louisiana, as it is the limit in most places. If you hit 0.08 or go over it, you could be charged.

However, things are different if you are under 21 years old. If so, a test only has to yield a relatively minor 0.02 BAC level. This would be legal for older drivers, but it could lead to charges for you because you are under the legal drinking age. Therefore, you were not supposed to have purchased any alcohol at all.

When facing charges, be sure that you know exactly what rights you have and what legal options can be used. A lot of this has to do with understanding the DUI laws and the tactics used to legally measure BAC.

Source: DMV.org, "DUI & DWI in Louisiana" Oct. 29, 2014

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