How Blood Alcohol Content is Calculated in a DUI Arrest

Posted on Mar 12, 2013 in Personal Injury

Hopefully, you will never be in a situation where you are arrested for DUI or DWI. Of course, you do not want to get arrested at all. However, if you are in this situation, it means that you have put yourself, the other people in your car and every other motorist on the road at risk of being in an accident or killed. If you do wind yourself in this awful situation, how is blood alcohol content, also known as BAC, calculated?

A Breathalyzer
Basically, if a police officer pulls you over and suspects that you have been consuming alcohol, he or she is going to perform a breathalyzer test. The suspicion could come from the way you are talking or walking, or the officer might actually smell alcohol on your breath. In any case, the readings for a DUI or DWI vary by state. Therefore, the penalties and your exact designation depend on where you live.

Amount of Alcohol
Now, how exactly does that number come into play and from whence does it spring? Ultimately, the number of drinks that you have had is going to play a large role in the number you blow on the breathalyzer. Generally, one drink per hour will give you a BAC reading of .02. In many states, you would not face any penalties with that number. Still though, your judgment can be significantly impaired. It is best to weight until you are completely sober to drive.

Weight and Gender
Now, that one drink per hour rule is just an average. Usually, it is attributed to a person who is around 150 pounds. If you weigh less, you are going to have a higher BAC with a higher amount of drinks than average, and if you weigh more, you are going to have a lower BAC with a higher amount of drinks than average. The BAC of a female tends to rise more quickly than that of a male. These are just the norms though. You could certainly break the norm based on your unique body composition, so you need to know your own limits.

Drug Use
DUI stands for driving under the influence; however, this can also be a result of drug usage. When it comes to drugs, a breathalyzer test is generally not going to be able to determine if you have been using and abusing drugs. However, the police officers do have other tests that they will give to you if they suspect that drug usage is what is causing you to drive improperly. These tests vary depending upon the situation and what type of drug is suspected to be in your body.

When it comes to driving while intoxicated or high on drugs, you absolutely must not do it. Yes, you are putting yourself at a risk of being arrested. Additionally, you are showing a lack of consideration for anyone in your car or on the road. You could wind up seriously injuring or killing others because of your selfishness.

Author Jason Harter is a lawyer who has participated on several DUI cases. He obtained his degree from one of the Top 10 Best Online Criminal Justice Schools

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