What is Blood Alcohol Concentration?

Many people enjoy going out on the town to have a few drinks with friends, but they do not know where to draw the line before they drive home. Professionals and law enforcement use your blood alcohol concentration to determine when you’re too impaired to be behind the wheel of a vehicle. Unfortunately, understanding this measurement can be difficult for people, so it’s time to break it down. 

Avoid getting pulled over and stop putting your life in danger by understanding when it is and is not safe for you to drive after drinking. 

What is Blood Alcohol Concentration? 

Blood alcohol concentration, often abbreviated as BAC, denotes the percentage of alcohol in your blood supply. It is usually measured in terms of a percentage. Law enforcement can measure your blood alcohol concentration via your breath, blood, or urine. Most people are familiar with the breathalyzer test that is commonly given when pulled over for suspected intoxication. 

Most areas consider you to be legally intoxicated if you have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. 

Your blood or breath alcohol concentration is determined by a number of factors. It is not as simple as saying that a certain number of beers will make you legally intoxicated. Your body weight and gender play a large role in how much alcohol you can tolerate. However, it is also influenced by any prescription medication you might be taking, the amount of food you have eaten, and the amount of time it took to consume the beverages. 

What is a Standard Drink? 

Understanding the size of a standard drink can give you even more insight into what influences your BAC. Many people underestimate the size of an actual serving of alcohol, leading them to become intoxicated much faster. You should keep careful track of how many servings you are actually having. 

One standard drink is considered to be: 

  • A 12-ounce beer
  • A 7-ounce malt liquor
  • A 5-ounce glass of wine
  • A 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor

Effects of BAC

It is important to recognize the signs that you are becoming too impaired to drive. Because you likely do not have access to a breathalyzer, you need to be able to recognize when your BAC is too high for you to operate a motor vehicle. 

At a lower BAC of .01 to .03, you will likely have no apparent effects from your drinking. Some people experience a slightly improved mood, but this is not always the case. In the next bracket, you might experience some relaxation or a sensation of warmth. Some people have a more difficult time with reason or some slight memory impairment when their BAC is .04 to .06 percent. 

When you begin to have mild impairment of your balance, speech, vision, and general sense of control, you are officially too impaired to drive. The symptoms only become worse from here, leading to more impairment of your motor control. You may become nauseous, lose consciousness, or even fall into a coma. 

Hire a DUI Lawyer

If you have been pulled over for drunk driving or driving under the influence, it is important that you hire a savvy DUI lawyer in Winnipeg. Matt Gould will help you set the record straight and give you the defence that you need in court. Give him a call today to see how he can help you!