What a Dallas County DUI Defense Attorney Wants You to Know about Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

In Texas, a motorist is considered to be driving while intoxicated (DWI) if he or she is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration or BAC at or above .08%.  However, many motorists do not have a clear understanding of what BAC means or the factors that can affect or influence a person’s BAC. Here is what every motorist needs to know about BAC:

  • BAC and how is it measured

BAC describes the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood stream. BAC is stated in terms of the weight of alcohol per unit volume of blood. For instance, if a person has a .85% BAC this means that he or she has 85 mg of alcohol for every 100 ml of blood in his or her body. Blood tests are used by law enforcement to determine a person’s BAC. However, a sample of a person’s blood is not the only way to find out BAC. One of the most common ways that police officers determine an individual’s BAC is through the use of a breathalyzer. As the name indicates, a breathalyzer can establish a person’s BAC by using only a sample of the person’s breath. Urine tests can be also be used, but are not nearly as common. Most often urine tests are used for testing drugs other than alcohol.

  • What a .08 BAC looks like

There are not many inexpensive and reliable ways to determine your own BAC. Therefore, many people want to know what a .08% BAC looks like so they know when he or she or even a friend should not drink and drive. The bad news is that a .08 BAC will differ greatly from person to person. Person “A” with a .08% BAC may look drunk while Person “B” with the same BAC may not even have slurred speech of any other obvious sign of impairment. Regardless, if Person B appears to be “sober,” yet his or her BAC is at or above .08%, he or she can be charged with a DWI.

  • The major factors that contribute to a BAC

The major factors that can affect a person’s BAC are gender, body weight, number of drinks consumed, and the time in which the drinks were consumed. For example, a 160 lb. male may be able to have three drinks within an hour and be able to legally drive (i.e., have a BAC under .08%). While if a 120 lb. woman had the same three drinks in that same hour she may be well over the legal driving limit. There are tables and so called drinking wheels that can give a person an estimate of his or her BAC based on his or her weight, gender and number of drinks consumed. However, these tools should only be used as a mere guide and not as a reliable indicator of how much a person can drink and still be under the legal limit.

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving or DWI, it is important that you speak with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation for clients in Dallas and throughout Dallas County for more than 30 years. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit knows what it takes to fight a DWI charge. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call the Law Offices of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.


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