So, you’re out with a few friends and you’ve only had a few drinks. You feel fine—great, even! And you think you’re “good enough” to drive. However, this feeling could be a false sense of security induced by alcohol and, in reality, you could very well go to jail.
Before you get into your car, think for a moment and ask yourself this: If you get pulled over for a minor traffic offense and on the off-chance a police officer smells alcohol on you, will you pass a blood alcohol content (BAC) test? Because that small test is all that stands between you and a DWI.
Things to Bear In Mind About Your BAC Level
The legal limit for drivers is .08. Your blood alcohol content measures the amount of alcohol per each unit of blood in your bloodstream. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol is typically absorbed quickly by the body, which allows your BAC to register within 30 to 70 minutes of consumption. So, before you have another drink or even consider getting behind the wheel, bear in mind these five factors that could affect your BAC level and land you a life-altering DWI.
- Your body type: Your body type is a huge factor in determining your BAC level. As a general rule of thumb, the less you weigh, the bigger effect alcohol consumption will have on your BAC level. This is usually because the heavier a person is, the more water may be in their bodies and water helps dilute alcohol (which is why when trying to prevent a hangover, people always tell you to drink water). That said, heavier people will typically have lower BACs than thinner drinkers, even after measuring drink-for-drink.
- Your gender: As unfair as it seems, women typically have a higher BAC than men because they tend to have less water in their bodies than men. Moreover, women have less dehydrogenase, which is an enzyme that breaks down alcohol, than men do. This means, if you have a man and a woman of the same, height, age and weight and give them each a drink, the woman will likely have a higher BAC.
- Speed (it’s a marathon, not a sprint!): Usually, the faster you consume alcohol, the higher your BAC will be. Not drinking at all is always the safest option, but if you do, use common sense and don’t drink excessively over a short period of time.
- Food: Any food you eat will slow the absorption of alcohol into your blood stream by holding the alcohol in your stomach for a longer period of time.
Ultimately, you should never drink and drive. If you are pulled over and asked to blow in a breathalyzer or perform a field sobriety test, your best option is to remain calm, politely refuse and request a criminal defense lawyer.
Goolsby Law firm is a Texas criminal defense law firm that defends the rights of those arrested in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.