Your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) level “refers to the percent of alcohol [that is] in [your] bloodstream” [Source: Stanford University]. Police officers will use your BAC level to determine how much alcohol is in your system and if you are over the state’s legal limit. In the state of Florida, a person who is operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level of .08 or higher is considered to be legally intoxicated and will likely be charged with DUI.
Now, aside from the amount of alcohol you drink, there are some other factors that affect your BAC level. Some of these factors WebMD highlights include:
- Your age. As you age, your BAC level will increase faster when you consume an alcoholic beverage than someone who drinks the same beverage but is younger.
- The drink strength. If you consume a drink that has a higher percentage of alcohol in it, your BAC level will increase faster. You also need to be aware of the fact that drinks that come from the same family such as two different beers can have a different amount of alcohol in them, according to WebMD.
- Food. If you eat before and even during the time you are drinking, your BAC level will go up slower than it would if you were to have no food in your system.
- Gender. WebMD says that “BAC generally goes up more quickly in woman than in men” so if you are a woman who is having the same drink as your male friend or partner, it is likely your BAC level will be higher than his if you were to measure it.
- Weight. In most cases, the lower your weight is, the quicker your BAC rises.
- Medicines and drugs. There are certain medications and illegal drugs that can boost your BAC level much quicker when taken with an alcoholic beverage. You should never mix drugs, no matter if they are legal or not, with alcohol as it could lead to you experiencing “dangerous side effects.”
- Race and ethnicity. WebMD says that “your genes affect how your liver handles alcohol, which means your race or ethnicity can also play a role. Asians and Native Americans tend to process alcohol more slowly, so their BAC goes up more quickly.”
How can I check my BAC level?
Now, if you are ever out and concerned about what your BAC level might be, there is a way can check it, however, you are advised not to rely on this method when determining whether you should get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The truth is, you should never operate a motor vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol as you could cause a drunk driving accident or get arrested for DUI even if your BAC level is below the legal limit.
However, if you are looking for a way to estimate what your BAC level might be, you can then use the BAC calculator the Cleveland Clinic features on their website. When using the calculator, you will need to enter the following information:
- The oz. of drink consumed.
- The % of alcohol in the drink.
- Your weight.
- The number of hours you spent drinking.
What is the first thing I should do if I was arrested for drunk driving in Fort Lauderdale, FL?
In the event you were pulled over by an officer in Fort Lauderdale and it was determined that your BAC level exceeded the legal limit which then led to your arrest, the first thing you should do is retain a FL criminal defense lawyer. Not only can a criminal defense attorney help you understand your charges, but they can also aid you in exercising your rights and protecting your freedom. So, if you or someone you know was recently arrested for DUI in Fort Lauderdale, FL, you will want to contact Michael D. Weinstein, PA.
Having an attorney like Michael D. Weinstein working by your side will not only help you feel more at ease knowing you have a professional who understands the law protecting your interests, but it gives you a chance at getting your charges reduced. So, rather than wait any longer, contact this firm now so that you can begin receiving the legal guidance you will want and need during this unfortunate time.
Michael D. Weinstein, PA can be reached at:
12 Southeast 7thStreet, Courthouse Plaza, Suite 713
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301