If you’ve ever been stopped for a possible DWI you might have heard someone mention BAC. The acronym BAC stands for blood alcohol content. This is how much ethanol (alcohol) is in the bloodstream, and its measurement could potentially harm your DWI case. Read on below to learn more about blood alcohol levels in Texas and how it could affect your DWI case.
You Only Need 0.8
You’ve been out drinking with friends at a local bar. It’s getting late and everyone agrees to part ways. You fumble for your keys and drive off. Just as you’re about to make the turn home, a cop pulls you over.
Now, you’ve heard before that you can refuse the breathalyzer test, but you’re tired and just want to sleep. So when the officer asks you to take the test, you comply. “Besides,” you think, “I only had a few beers. What can they do?”
A lot, as it turns out. You only need to blow a 0.8 to get a DWI and according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) BAC chart, reaching that number is easier than you think. An average male could reach DWI limits with as little as 4 beers, sometimes less depending on weight. For women, two beers.
It’s Not Just a Number; It’s Evidence
When a police officer pulls you over for a DUI/DWI they’re looking for evidence. Were your eyes bloodshot? Did you smell of alcohol? Was your speech slurred?
All of these can easily be disputed. Your eyes could be bloodshot because you’re tired from a long day. You smell of alcohol because you came from a bar. Your speech could be slurred because of medication you’re taking. There are a number of explanations that could weaken the police officer’s case.
The 0.8 (or higher) that you blow is hard evidence that weakens your case. It’s proof that you drank enough for your blood alcohol content to be over the legal limit and this proof will be used against you in a court of law.
Factors that Impact BAC
The charts below show that gender and weight can have a large effect on your BAC.
Blood Alcohol Levels for Men
Blood Alcohol Levels for Women
Breathalyzer manufacturer BACtrack explains further:
Alcohol is highly water soluble. Because women generally have a lower water content in their bodies than men, they usually reach a higher BAC if they consume alcohol at a similar rate to their male counterparts, even if they are the same age and weight. Women also have a lower quantity of an enzyme in their stomachs that breaks down alcohol than men.
But age and weight aren’t the only factors that affect your BAC. Other factors include:
- Age. As you grow older you’ll feel the effects of your drinking much faster than you used to.
- How fast you drink. Your BAC increases heavily if you consume several drinks in rapid succession
- What you drink. Having a few shots of spirits like rum or vodka will get you drunk quicker than if you just had a few sips of cider.
- How stressed you are. When you’re stressed alcohol bypasses the stomach and heads to the lower intestines, causing you to absorb it at a slower rate. But watch out! The moment you relax your BAC will spike because you’re better able to ingest drinks.
- Carbonation. If you’re drinking bubbly drinks like sodas and champagne your BAC will spike because the carbonation speeds up alcohol absorption.
How to Avoid an Incriminating BAC (Blood Alcohol Level – Texas)
The charges for getting a DUI/DWI can be harsh. If this is your second offense, or you had a blood alcohol of 0.15% you will be ordered to get an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your car. This is in addition to the fines and possible jail time you may get. To avoid having an incriminating BAC, follow these tips.
- Plan ahead! If you know you’re going to enjoy a few drinks, plan a ride home. The possibility of driving impartment stars with the first drink and gets worse as you drink. Don’t chance it. Get a ride.
- Drink water and wait. Your BAC lowers with time. So if you’ve had one drink (and don’t want more) have water and wait until you’re sober.
Let Sugar Land DWI Lawyer David Hunter Fight for You!
If you’ve been caught with a blood alcohol level in Texas that’s over 0.8% don’t wait. Contact David Hunter for a free consultation on your case and the next steps you should take. David Hunter is a compassionate lawyer who will fight for your rights. Call (281) 417-3117 or click below to get the help you need.