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Man Charged With OWI After Passenger Falls Out of Vehicle

Written by on December 02, 2020

A Michigan City man is facing two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated after a passenger apparently fell out the back of his vehicle while he was operating it. 

Officers responded to a call involving an injured man in the parking garage of the Blue Chip Casino. The man was breathing but unconscious. He was later airlifted to South Bend for treatment. His condition is not currently known. The man had fallen out of a Chevy Avalanche as it was being driven around the parking lot.

Joshua Brazeal was later apprehended. Officers say that the results of a blood test showed he was more than four times the legal limit. 

Four Times the Legal Limit?

It is possible to have a BAC that is four times the legal limit, especially if you are an alcoholic who is used to being drunk on a daily basis. However, seeing a BAC that high would raise some red flags for defense attorneys and this case appears especially problematic.

First of all, the entire case is built on the passenger falling out of Brazeal’s truck. Without linking the passenger to the truck, there’s no reason to demand a blood sample. 

Secondly, blood tests and blood serum or blood plasma tests are two very different things. Blood plasma is mostly water, so when blood plasma is tested, the results are much higher than they would be with a breath test or standard blood test.

Essentially, serum is created using blood that has been filtered of cellular material. Since the filtration process does not filter the alcohol, the test will return a much higher concentration than a “whole blood” test. Since there is no way to correctly filter the alcohol, the tests are useless for the purposes of determining a BAC. However, those who attempt to defend themselves without a lawyer would never know that.

Testing Problems

Testing issues are a severe problem for law enforcement officers attempting to arrest people who are unfit to drive. There are only two ways to test an individual that are considered scientifically legal. These are breath tests (given at the police station) and whole blood tests generally performed at a hospital or a laboratory. The portable breathalyzer tests are used to give an officer probable cause to make an arrest. If either test is not done exactly right, the test will give inflated results. In some cases, a breathalyzer can read other non-alcoholic chemicals such as acetone on the breath. This is especially problematic for those who are on so-called “keto” diets as ketosis is known to inflate BAC results.

Talk to a Fort Wayne OWI Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with OWI in Fort Wayne, the attorneys at The Bellinger Law Office can cast doubt on key evidence related to your arrest and the subsequent tests. Call today to learn more.

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