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Factors that may impact BAC

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Officers in Mississippi are allowed to conduct sobriety tests if they suspect a driver of DUI. The primary test they use is a Breathalyzer to check BAC, or blood alcohol content. However, it doesn’t mean the test is always accurate; several factors may influence absorption rates.

Overview of BAC

BAC is the amount of alcohol in the blood measured by the number of grams per 100 milliliters of blood. For example, a BAC of 0.05 means there are 0.05 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. Most states make it illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08.

A Breathalyzer measures the BAC by detecting alcohol from a breath sample submitted by the driver. A criminal defense strategy might involve arguing that the device wasn’t calibrated or the officer used the test incorrectly, which skewed results.

Factors that influence alcohol absorption

While the standard absorption rate is .025 ounces of alcohol per hour, these rates vary by person. These rates also refer to a standard drink: 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of spirits or 5 ounces of wine.

Women absorb alcohol slower than men because they lack dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol. In addition, body types with less body fat tend to have higher water content that absorbs alcohol faster. Fatty tissue has lower water content and does not absorb alcohol, leaving the alcohol longer in the bloodstream.

The type of drink, amount of alcohol and its contents can influence BAC rates. For example, carbonated beverages mixed with wine or champagne quickly raise BAC. The speed of consuming drinks, stress, tolerance and metabolic rate are other factors that affect BAC.

Drunk driving comes with many stiff penalties, but law enforcement can make mistakes. Drivers need to come up with valid defenses to fight DUI charges.