Understanding Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is the amount of alcohol contained in an individual’s blood. The BAC refers to the actual concentration percentage of alcohol in the bloodstream.

When Understanding BAC Becomes An Issue

blood alcohol contentUnderstanding blood alcohol content is not complicated. Usually, people become familiar with this term after being involved in an accident or pulled over on a drunk driving (DUI) charge. A breathalyzer test administered by a law enforcement officer can be used to do an analysis and measure a person’s level of intoxication.

If the test results show 0.08%, in Colorado you will be considered to be intoxicated. You will most likely be charged with a DUI due to violating DUI laws.

Having a driver’s license means you have provided your implied content to take a chemical test to measure your blood alcohol content.

That might seem completely unfair, violating your rights, or possible being unconstitutional. However, these laws have been challenged many times based on the principle that implied consent under the Fourth Amendment amounts to unreasonable search and seizure.

However, the courts have generally upheld it as a valid form of police power in various states. Driving is considered to be a privilege and the state has a genuine interest in dangerous drivers being kept off the roads and preventing loss of life, property damage, and injury.

A Breathalyzer Test Can Be Inaccurate

Nevertheless, it is important to note that a breathalyzer test’s results may be inaccurate if the individual taking the test has dental caps, bridgework, is taking certain types of medications, has sores or injuries in their mouth, or has just vomited.

If any of those conditions apply to you, you should inform the police officer who will be giving you the breathalyzer test ahead of time. More importantly, tell this to your Colorado Springs criminal attorney who is defending you from the DUI charge. In this case, understanding blood alcohol content is essential.

Intoxication Affects Different People Differently

Alcohol affects people in different ways depending on a number of different factors. Your ethnicity, sex, or age can all affect how fast you are starting to show intoxication effects.

Even at levels where an individual would not be considered legally drunk in the state of Colorado, which is up to 0.08%, you can still experience reductions in peripheral vision, depth perception, lack of coordination, and judgment. Those are conditions that can seriously impact your driving abilities.

Blood Alcohol Content is a legitimate method for anticipating how an individual will behave when their system has alcohol.

How Many Drinks To Legal Intoxication In Colorado?

Although it can be difficult to predict the exact amount of drinks that are going to place you over the limit, the general rule is two drinks that are consumed in an hour most likely will place you over the line.

When you have three drinks right in a row, definitely is going to put you over the limit no matter what your weight is and other factors. One drink, for practical purposes, means 1 ounce of hard liquor, a 4-ounce glass of wine, or a 12-ounce beer. However, keep in mind, that their strength can vary, so it is just an estimate.

If you are even considering estimating your BAC from the number of drinks consumed, understanding blood alcohol content and how it affects you is essential.

Although it is true that some people develop a tolerance to alcohol to a certain extent and will be less impaired compared to inexperienced drinkers. To correctly determine the level of inebriation, Blood Alcohol Content should always be used.

Body Weight Is A Factor In BAC Levels

Also, a person’s body weight directly correlates to how much alcohol is needed to increase BAC to levels that are unacceptable. A lesser amount of alcohol is going to push a smaller individual to a level that will cause them to become legally drunk compared to a bigger person. Drivers under 21 years old are also held to a stricter standard in the state of Colorado. Driving privileges will be suspended if their BAC is 0.02%. When it comes to underage drinkers, many states do have zero-tolerance levels.

Blood Alcohol Level also can be determined by testing blood and urine. Like with breathalyzer tests, the results can have slight variations, and the potential for discrepancy often becomes the basis when building a drunk driving defense.

Although sometimes challenging these tests can result in a sentence being lessened or dismissed, a majority of courts accept the test results as valid. Therefore, limiting your alcohol intake is the best thing to do to avoid having an elevated BAC.

BAC Calculators

There are many online calculators that are available to help you estimate your BAC. You can enter your weight, how much alcohol you have consumed, and how long you have been drinking into the calculator to provide you with a BAC estimate.

One of the more popular online BAC calculators is from bac.org. Check it out HERE.

Drunk Driving Prevention Apps

There really is an app for that. Many apps are available to help with preventing drunk driving.

There are certain apps, like lifesafer.com that you use when you’re drunk.

Sometimes you and your friends could end up drinking where you were not planning to. There are two apps – Safe Ride and Have a Plan that allows you to add an emergency contact list that you can pull up whenever you are too drunk to drive your car.

Some individuals use home model breathalyzers to decide whether they can safely drive after drinking. However, false readings are often given and it’s just best to not consume ANY alcohol when you are out driving.

These online apps and home breathalyzers should never be relied on to determine whether or not you can safely drive. The results you get from these tests can be used for your defense if you get arrested.


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