Blood Alcohol Content: An Overview
Counsel from an Experienced DUI Attorney in Atlanta, GA
One of the most important factors in any DUI case is the defendant's blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the alleged offense. BAC is used to determine intoxication levels, ultimately resulting in DUI charges when too high. The more you are informed on BAC, they better equipped you will be to build a strong defense against your charges with the help of an experienced attorney.
Calculating BAC and Impairment
Blood alcohol content essentially refers to the amount of alcohol that is in a person's blood after they have consumed it. BAC is measured as weight per unit of volume, and then converted into a percentage. This is where the restriction of .08% comes into play. Researchers decided that .08% indicated a general level of impairment across the board, eventually making .07% the official legal limit for all states.
For example, say someone had .10% BAC. This would mean that one-tenth of their blood is alcohol, typically causing some serious level of impairment.
The following functions are involved in driving a vehicle:
- Information processing
- Decision making
- Eye-hand coordination
As alcohol in the blood travels directly to the brain, all cognitive functions are impacted, including those needed to drive a vehicle. Because of this, law enforcement must have some level of indication for risk. That is why a BAC of .08% is considered illegal, as it is the official marker point for impairment.
However, every person's body is different and the situation in which they consumed alcohol will be different, effecting their overall BAC. The type of food you eat, the amount of alcohol you consume, the rate at which you consume, your body weight, and the type of alcohol you consume will all affect your BAC, making it nearly impossible to calculate in every situation.
What Should I Know About BAC?
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 Atlanta 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 Atlanta 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.
Choose an Experienced and Successful Atlanta DUI Firm
Facing charges for drunk driving? Unsure of how it happened or what steps you should even take next? While this can be a very confusing and disorienting time, it is important that you understand the process and how to protect your rights.
When you work with Willis Law Firm, you can be confident that your case is in trustworthy hands. We utilize our top-quality legal services to help clients fight all types of DUI charges, including commercial, multiple offenses, and underage DUI.
Still need more reasons to work with us?
- 20 years of criminal defense experience
- Best track record of any DUI firm in the state
- Award-winning legal services
- Free case evaluations
Our Atlanta DUI attorney is more than equipped and prepared to take on your case. Our legal team is ready to fight for you and help you understand the charges you are facing.
Even just one or two drinks of a different type of alcohol could push you over the legal limit. Though many people think they know their own limit, it can quickly slip out of their control without them realizing it. For these reasons, it is more crucial than ever for you to obtain legal counsel right away.
Schedule a consultation with Willis Law Firm to start building your defense!
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