June 18

DUI Lawyer – The importance of doing the Widmark calculation.



DUI Lawyer – The importance of doing the Widmark calculation.

Why should a DUI Lawyer be familiar with the Widmark Calculations?

As a DUI Lawyer it’s important to know how to do a widmark calculation manually. By doing this, you will know where their expert will be and what the prosecutor will ask. The most common calculations are number of drinks and what will a person alcohol level be with this amount of drinks, time, weight, etc, and the retrograde extrapolation one. However, these questions are packed with assumptions. Let’s take a look at one example.

DUI Lawyer
The widmark formula is often misused by prosecutors because of the assumption that a person is in the elimination stage.

Every DUI Lawyer knows there are many different beers out there and different levels of alcohol in each beer. Take a step into a brewery and you will see some brewery will over 50 types of beers. Too often our clients are not aware of the alcohol content of some of these beers. It’s no fault of their own. How many of us actually check the alcohol content of our drinks? It’s because of this that some good people make bad choices and not know about it. Alcohol content in beer can range anywhere from 4% to 10% .

Often times our clients will know their limits. They will only drink two beers. However the alcohol content can make things sticky when they get popped. This is why a DUI Lawyer is worth his or her weight in gold.  Often times a out clients will say they only had 2 beers and be at a .12 BAC. Some lawyers and all prosecutors and state’s experts will write this person off as a liar. Even worse the prosecutor will go after a conciousness of guilt jury instruction which will make it harder for a person to overcome the presumption of guilty.

Let’s take a look at this example. A DUI Lawyer will know this calculation does not take into consideration elimination/rho/and absorption time which will vary things even more.

Scenario 1

Mark Gallagher weighs 160. He goes to Chuck e Cheeses but does’t eat the pizza and downs 2 Bud Ice Light 16 oz at %4.1 alcohol. After 30 minutes of absorption he will have .06 of alcohol in his system.

Scenario 2

Mark still weighs the same. Instead he goes to BJs and skips lunch because he thinks lunch are for sissys. BJs has many different types of beers. He decides to try something new. He decides to try 2 16 oz Breckienridge Christmas Ale. Little does he know that this beer is %7.4 alcohol. After 30 minutes of absorption on an empty stomach he will have a .10 in his system. When questioned, mark will answer he had two beers.

The prosecution and their expert will define a standard drink as 12 oz 4% alcohol. This leads to an inference that the answer Mark gave is a lie. The prosecution will then ask for a jury instruction instructing on consciousness of guilt.

By calling BS on this, we show the jury there are much more variables at play. This is also known as the 2 beer defense.

About the author 

Hieu Vu

“To the client, every angle is important, there’s a number of questions, and each person also have their own worries. Some will need a person to listen to them. At the end of the day, it’s more than just delivering legal results. I put a 110% into every person I work. I strive to make sure everyone knows what is going on and is kept in the loop as the case goes on. The practice of law is more than just getting the results in court.” -Hieu Vu

You may also like

DUI and Moving Out of California. [Avoid these 3 Mistakes]

West Justice Center

How to expunge your record

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}