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Blood-alcohol concentration: A primer

In many drunk driving cases, your blood-alcohol concentration is a primary factor in the case against you. Knowing what the BAC is and how it is determined might help you to understand why this such an important consideration when you are facing drunk driving charges.

The BAC is an estimate of how much alcohol is in your blood. Higher BAC levels are associated with greater levels of impairment. It is important to note that the way alcohol affects each person is different, so it is possible that what get your BAC to a specific level could be more or less than what it would take to get another person to that same level.

Some of the factors that affect BAC include your gender and size. Typically, females will become intoxicated with a smaller amount of alcohol than males who are the same size. Larger people are more likely to be able to drink more alcohol before becoming intoxicated than smaller people.

There is one factor that remains the same no matter the gender or size of the person. Alcohol is burned off at a rate of .016 BAC per hour. That is about the equivalent of .54 ounces of alcohol, or one standard drink.

Other factors, such as what you've had to eat and your alcohol tolerance level, can also have an impact on what your BAC is after a drink or series of drinks. With that in mind, it isn't always possible to determine your BAC while you are out drinking. To be on the safe side, you should find a ride home if you plan on having a few drinks. If you do get arrested for drunk driving, make sure you are ready to wage war against those charges.

Source: Insure.com, "How many drinks to get drunk? Calculate your blood-alcohol level," accessed Sep. 01, 2016

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