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How different alcohol levels affect people

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When a law enforcement officer in Mississippi checks the blood alcohol content (BAC) of a motorist, they want to know the amount of alcohol that is in a person’s blood. When people consume alcohol, their small intestine and stomach rapidly absorb the alcohol. It quickly enters their bloodstream. When a person’s liver cannot process the alcohol they ingest quickly enough, their blood alcohol content rises. Rising alcohol levels cause them to feel intoxicated.

Driving under the influence

Mississippi defines intoxication as a blood alcohol concentration of .08% in adults, .04% for commercial drivers, and 0.2% blood alcohol content for minors under 21. A person driving with a BAC over the limit will be charged with a DUI.

Blood alcohol level effects

A healthy adult with a BAC of 0.0% is 100% sober with no alcohol in their blood. A BAC of 0.02% indicates that a person is beginning to experience relaxation, an altered mood and a slight loss of judgment. At 0.05%, a person starts to feel uninhibited. Their judgment becomes impaired, and their alertness level diminishes.

When a person reaches a BAC of 0.08%, their muscle coordination becomes affected. They experience a reduced ability to identify danger along with impaired judgment and reasoning. At 0.10, a person’s reaction time is slow, speech slurs and cognitive skills dramatically diminish. Nausea and vomiting occur when blood alcohol levels reach around 0.15%. Drowsiness, confusion and physical illness set in at between 0.15% to 0.30%. If a person’s BAC gets higher than 0.3%, they are likely dealing with alcohol poisoning, which can be life-threatening.

Although the person may have developed a tolerance to alcohol, this does not mean that their BAC is lower. It simply means that they experience the effects of alcohol differently. Still, a person with a higher-than-acceptable BAC who gets behind the wheel can face a DUI regardless of how the alcohol makes them feel.