5 Factors that Determine Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
The frigid temperatures in Philadelphia, its surrounding counties and New Jersey are keeping people indoors but many are still venturing out to local bars, restaurants, and clubs to avoid cabin fever! If you are headed out tonigh into the cold or any night, please drink responsibly and as always please don’t forget that you can’t judge the level of your impairment by the way you feel! This concept is discussed in my free book on DUI
Pennsylvania (DUI) and New Jersey’s (DWI) (read about the diferences) drunk driving statues are based on Blood Alcohol Concentration or Content (BAC) that exceeds the legal limit of .08. While PA and NJ, both maintain general impairment statutes which don’t require the prosecution to establish a specific BAC, these are more difficult cases for the prosecution and so many assistant district attorneys and prosecutors want to introduce a specific BAC into evidence in order to convince a judge or a jury that a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. BAC therefore can directly determine outcome of DUI case!
The 5 Factors of Your BAC Level
BAC is the percent of alcohol in a person’s blood stream. For instance, a BAC of .10 means that a person’s blood contains one part alcohol for every thousand parts of blood. The level of your BAC is based on the following 5 factors:
- The number of drinks consumed
- The amount of time in which the drinks are consumed
- Your body weight
- Your sex
- Food consumed
How to Quickly Reduce Your BAC Level
Here is the quick answer…YOU CAN’T! Your level of impairment begins to decrease after you consume your last drink and most of the alcohol leaves your body through metabolization (breaking down in your system) and the remainder of alcohol leaves through your breath, perspiration, and urine.
Most of the alcohol in your system (about 90%) is metabolized while only ten percent leaves your system through other means. Most people metabolize alcohol at the same rate regardless of their age, size, or race. It would take approximately 5 ½ hours for alcohol to leave your system if your BAC level was .08. Your body therefore metabolizes alcohol at a rate of about .005 per 20 minutes.
Most Common Ways People Believe That They Can Reduce BAC
There’s no way to increase the BAC metabolization process. No amount of coffee, water, or other liquids will increase the rate in which your body expels alcohol.
The level of your BAC will directly effect the level of your coordination and your ability to drive a car or any machinery.
Impairment & Coordination
In most situations an increased BAC level will affect your coordination as follows.
- .02 – loss of judgement or trouble doing two tasks at the same time.
- .05 (about three beers) – reduced coordination and the ability to track moving objects.
- .08 (about four beers) – trouble controlling speed and difficulty processing information and reasoning.
- .10 (about five beers) – visibly slower reaction times and difficulty staying in the lane and breaking.
- .15 (about seven beers) – serious difficulty controlling the car and focusing on driving.
Drunk Driving Defense is a major part of our firm’s criminal defense practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. For more information, please visit my free download section and download a copy of my free book—5 Ways to Fight & Win Your Pennsylvania DUI Case