When someone has consumed an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol is absorbed
through the walls of the stomach, where it enters the bloodstream. As
part of the blood, it enters the brain and can cause impairment within
30 minutes. The amount of alcohol found in the bloodstream is called blood
alcohol content. This is determined by calculating the parts of alcohol
for every 1,000 parts blood. Across the United States, the legal BAC for
someone that is behind the wheel of a car is 0.08%. This means that when
the BAC reaches this level, the individual may no longer be able to perform
the same tasks as they would if they did not drink alcohol.
In order to determine BAC, there are a number of factors that come into
play, such as:
- The number of alcoholic beverages that have been consumed
- Amount of time in which these beverages were imbibed
- Body weight
- Food eaten before drinking
These factors can help determine how much alcohol will remain in the system.
For example, if more drinks are consumed in a shorter amount of time,
it will increase BAC levels, while heavier body weight and consumption
of food can slow the absorption of the alcohol into the bloodstream.
The higher someone's BAC, the more impaired they may be. This impairment
generally manifests as the reduction of activity in the central nervous
system, such as loss of motor skills, loose muscle tone, inability to
walk, slowed reaction times, and decreased blood pressure and heart rate.
Fine motor skills are crucial when driving a motor vehicle. The legal
limit of 0.08% is used to determine when a driver should be prohibited
from operating their motor vehicle on the roadways. In fact, a BAC that
is too high can cause someone to be placed in a coma or even result in death.
Anyone consuming alcohol should do so responsibly, which also means staying
off of the roadways after having a few drinks. Finding a designated driver
or coordinating with a cab company to get home can prevent an expensive
and life-changing DUI arrest.
If you have been arrested for DUI, contact the Thomas & Willis, LLC
for aggressive legal defense backed by years of experience.