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Determining BAC

Determining BAC

We often hear “the legal limit” when discussing driving under the influence. While most people know that the legal limit is .08% BAC, what exactly does that mean? How is BAC measured?

What is BAC?

BAC stands for blood alcohol content. This refers to the concentration of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream at a given time.

There is no standardized, foolproof way to calculate your BAC. Many people go off of the idea that for each standard drink you have, it takes about an hour for the alcohol to be metabolized and lower your BAC. However, this isn’t necessarily true for everyone.

Factors That Impact BAC

Numerous factors can cause you to have a higher or lower BAC than others who have consumed the same amount of alcohol as you.

Some of these factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Weight
  • How quickly the drinks were consumed
  • How much food you had eaten prior to drinking alcohol
  • Medications

Because of all of these variables, you cannot know for sure what your BAC is without taking a chemical test.

Measuring BAC

Blood alcohol content can be measured using a breath or blood test. If you are pulled over for suspected DUI, you will likely be asked to take a breath test. This test will measure the amount of ethanol in your breath and produce a BAC reading.

Florida Implied Consent

If you are pulled over and asked to take a breath test, you may feel hesitant. This is especially true if you had been drinking that night and are not 100% sure you will be below the legal limit. Remember that Florida is an implied consent state. This means that if you refuse to take a breath or blood test when asked, you can face additional penalties like a length license suspension.

Back To Basics

It’s a smart idea to keep track of your drinking so you can have a rough estimate of your BAC.

Remember, a standard drink is:

  • 1.5 ounces of hard liquor
  • 12 ounces of 5% beer
  • 5 ounces of wine

If you have been drinking at all, it is best that you don’t drive - even if you feel fine to do so. Call an Uber, Lyft, or sober friend. This will not only help you avoid a potential DUI charge but keep you safe.

Broward County Defense Attorneys

Hager & Schwartz, P.A. can help you fight your DUI charges, even if you blew above the legal limit of .08% BAC. While breathalyzers are typically seen as reliable, like all technology, they can make errors. Contact us today and set up a case consultation to discuss the circumstances of your DUI arrest.