Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) refers to a measurement of a person’s level of intoxication. This measurement is obtained by assessing the amount, by volume or mass, of alcohol in the bloodstream. In many jurisdictions, driving under the influence (DUI) laws are based on setting a maximum BAC for the operators of motor vehicles.
BAC measures how intoxicated a person is at a given time. The results can do a great deal of fluctuating even within the course of a day. The more alcohol a person consumes, the higher his BAC should be.
In the United States, every state has a DUI statute that sets the legal BAC threshold at .08%. In some circumstances and for certain groups of people, the limit is even lower, and you can still be charged with driving under the influence even if your BAC is below the legal limit.
If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, fight your charges by contacting a DUI attorney in your area.
What is Blood Alcohol Content?
Blood alcohol content is simply the amount of alcohol in your blood.
A BAC test actually measures the weight of alcohol in a certain volume of your blood, expressed as a percentage.
The greater the level of alcohol in your blood, the more your driving will be impaired.
Although most states’ DUI laws state that a blood alcohol content of .08% is considered legally intoxicated, some studies show that a blood alcohol content as low as .02% affects a person’s ability to drive and increases the likelihood of an accident. The probability of a crash begins to increase significantly at a blood alcohol content of .05% and climbs rapidly above .08%.
How is BAC Measured?
BAC is usually measured testing a person’s breath, blood, saliva or urine. These tests are typically performed shortly after being stopped for suspicion of DUI.
Although police officers often use various field sobriety tests, these road tests only measure your reflexes and abilities, not your BAC.
If you fail a field sobriety test, you can still be convicted of a DUI offense even if your BAC is below .08%.
Blood testing is generally considered the most accurate method to determine your BAC. Blood testing usually involves the drawing of your blood by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. A breathalyzer test is the most common type of blood alcohol test performed by law enforcement officials. A breathalyzer measures the alcohol level in your breath from the lungs.
BAC Results and the Law
Although .08% BAC is now the law in all 50 states, there are even lower thresholds for younger drivers in some states. Some states have a zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving policy. If you are under 21 and have any level of alcohol in your blood, even .01%, you may be facing a DUI charge.
The only way to accurately determine your BAC is to take a breath, blood, urine or other chemical test, but you have probably seen some general rules of thumb that help estimate BAC, depending on weight and the mount of alcohol ingested. These figures are rough estimates.
Depending on your weight, metabolism, amount of food eaten and other factors, you may be legally intoxicated even if you have fewer drinks in your system than the average man or woman of your weight could legally handle. There are also home breathalyzer kits that allow you to measure your own BAC. These tests can be highly inaccurate, and it’s not encouraged to rely on them.
Driving under the influence (DUI) – operating a vehicle while affected by a substance that could alter one’s ability to safely operate that vehicle. DUI charges are most often pressed against individuals driving a car while affected by alcohol. Most governments have statutes regarding driving under the influence. The definition of what constitutes DUI and the penalties for the behavior, however, can vary widely.
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West Palm Beach DUI/DWI Attorney
It is not illegal to drink and drive in Florida, so long as your blood alcohol content (BAC) is not over .08 or your normal faculties are not impaired. At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, we advise our clients to neither blow into a breathalyzer machine nor do a roadside test. Why give evidence to the state if you don’t have to?
If you have submitted to a breathalyzer test and failed, that is not the end of your case. The Intoxilzer 5,000 and Intoxilzer 8,000 breathalyzer machines used to measure BAC in Florida have significant problems. If you have an expert witness and an experienced attorney who can challenge the accuracy of the machine in court, the BAC evidence may be thrown out. DUI/DWI Lawyer Andrew Stine has obtained not-guilty verdicts due to machine failure for clients who have had blood alcohol levels of .229 and .227.
The most important thing in DUI/DWI cases is early intervention by your attorney. This preliminary involvement will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction, which are very serious in Florida. We will also represent you at your hearing before the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles in order to protect your right to drive.
In addition to DUI/DWI charges, we represent clients in DUI accident cases, including
- Leaving the scene of accident with severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI severe bodily injury
- DUI/DWI homicide
- DUI/DWI manslaughter
There are defenses in DUI accident cases, which an experienced and capable lawyer can use. Even if you made a statement to police during your arrest, our lawyers can usually get that evidence thrown out of court. Any statement you give officers cannot be used against you due to the Florida accident report privilege.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.