Experts suggest Paul Pelosi’s blood-alcohol content at time of accident likely higher than reported

Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), was involved in a car accident on May 28 after which he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, due to the fact that he had shown physical signs of intoxication and his blood-alcohol content had been measured at 0.082 percent, just slightly above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Some experts suggest, however, that Pelosi’s BAC percentage was actually significantly higher and well above the legal limit at the time of the accident, given that more than two hours elapsed between the time police responded and when he was tested, Fox News reported.

Given the average rate at which alcohol is metabolized in the human body and the length of time that passed between the incident and testing, it is estimated that Pelosi’s BAC would likely have been approximately 50 percent higher, or above 0.12 percent.

Pelosi displayed “symptoms of alcohol intoxication” prior to their arrest

Newsweek reported that court documents in Paul Pelosi’s case revealed that local police officers who initially responded to the wreck involving Pelosi’s Porsche and another man’s Jeep observed “symptoms of alcohol intoxication” in the Speaker’s husband when they arrived on the scene.

That would include “red/watery” eyes and that he was “unsteady on his feet, his speech was slurred, and he had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath.” Later, after being taken into custody by the California Highway Patrol, a blood sample was taken and tested and it was determined that Pelosi’s BAC was above the legal limit.

The court documents further revealed that the other driver complained of minor injuries in the days after the accident, which resulted in Pelosi being charged with the misdemeanor offense of DUI causing injury.

They also revealed that, at the time of his arrest, Pelosi presented the police with his driver’s license and an “11-99 Foundation” membership card, a charitable organization that provides financial support to CHP officers and education scholarships for their children, which bears the appearance of attempting to use his influence to gain leniency with law enforcement officers.

BAC was likely much higher at the time of the accident

According to legal and medical experts who spoke to Fox News about the incident, Paul Pelosi’s BAC of 0.082 at the time the blood sample was taken, about two hours and 15 minutes after the accident occurred, would have registered much higher had his BAC been measured immediately at the time of the incident.

That is because, regardless of a person’s size or weight, alcohol tends to be metabolized by the body at a standard rate of around 0.016 percent per hour. Thus, according to forensic pharmacologist Dr. John Brink, and even assuming that Pelosi had stopped drinking an hour before the accident and wasn’t drinking behind the wheel, his BAC at the time of the crash would likely have been between 0.105 percent and 0.127 percent.

“At the lowest estimate, the relative risk for a fatal single-car crash based on age, gender and BAC is 17 to 31 times greater as compared with sober controls,” Brink told Fox News. “The majority of drinkers do not display reliable signs of visible intoxication, slurred speech, trouble walking, etc., until the BAC is above .15 percent.”

Potential consequences if found guilty

The Hill reported that Paul Pelosi did not make an appearance at an arraignment hearing Wednesday, but his attorney pleaded not guilty in the court on his behalf.

Should he be convicted, Pelosi could receive a five-day jail sentence and up to five years of probation, as well as mandatory completion of a drunk driving class and the installation of a breathalyzer ignition lock on his vehicles that won’t allow the vehicle to operate unless he proves he is sober.

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