How Blood Alcohol Concentration Is Determined

October 14, 2019

Every person is impacted differently by alcohol, and how the body handles alcohol makes a difference in an individual’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. That is why it is important to understand what factors may impact a person’s ability to handle alcohol.

If you are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, your blood alcohol concentration will likely be tested. In South Carolina, anyone age 21 or over must have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or less if they are driving. Having a BAC over this limit will result in drunk driving charges. Unfortunately, there isn’t a firm limit to the number of alcoholic drinks that will result in a person reaching this level.

 

Factors that Impact Blood Alcohol Concentration 

Clearly, the amount of alcohol a person consumes impacts a breathalyzer test. The more you drink, the higher your BAC level is likely to be. However, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there are several factors other than the amount of alcohol consumed that can impact your BAC. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Drinking alcohol quickly – The faster you consume alcohol, the higher your BAC is likely to be. A person will eliminate alcohol at a fairly steady rate, so just because you are drinking it faster, doesn’t mean your body will keep up with the pace.
  • Age – The older a person is the less water they hold in their cells. Because water dilutes alcohol, less water means higher BAC levels.
  • Gender – As a general rule, women have less water in their cells than men. Consequently, this means that women also tend to require less alcohol to have a higher BAC.
  • Weight – As weight increases for both women and men, there is typically more water present in the body. This means that as weight increases, the BAC likely decreases.
  • Food – Having food in the stomach usually slows down the absorption of alcohol, leading to a lower BAC.

Some supplements and medications won’t result in a higher BAC level, but they can result in an increase in overall impairment. Prosecutors are now able to bring charges based on only medications, or a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs regardless of the BAC level of a person.

 

Penalties for Having an Increased BAC

South Carolina laws state that a person cannot drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Your BAC level may be taken into consideration when determining the charges that you face and the penalties. Penalties can include fines ranging from $400 to $6,300, prison time ranging from 48 hours to five years, suspension of your driver’s license, and additional penalties.

 

Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney Today

If you are facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, contact a Charleston DUI attorney at the David Aylor Law Offices today. With the steep penalties a DUI conviction can have, it is imperative that you have an experienced attorney on your side. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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