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How Fast Will You Reach the BAC legal limit?

Posted by Doug Murphy | Mar 04, 2020 | 0 Comments

Most people understand that the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while driving is .08 percent. Drivers with tests reflecting that level of alcohol in their system or higher could face arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Houston.

Not all drivers can say with certainty what a .08 percent blood alcohol concentration means or feels like, however. While there are colloquialisms about how “two drinks” is usually the most you can consume without going over the legal limit, the reality is far more complex than that.

This concept is important because misconceptions can lead to your arrest. Below, we discuss how fast you might be able to reach a BAC of .08 percent and the factors that could impact your test result.

Factors that Impact a Breathalyzer Test

There are many important factors that go into determining your BAC. One of the most important factors is your body weight. Generally speaking, the larger you are the more alcohol you can metabolize. Your body begins to metabolize alcohol right away, and a person with a larger body will eliminate more of the alcohol compared to a smaller person drinking the same amount of alcohol. Based on weight alone, a 250-pound person will not reach a BAC of .08 percent as quickly as a 100-pound person.

Weight is not the only important factor, however. Other factors could include:

  • How fast you are drinking
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Altitude
  • Amount of food in the stomach
  • Which liquids were mixed with alcohol
  • Medication
  • Fatigue.

Remember, the score on a breathalyzer is not the end-all, be-all of DWI arrests. Plus, police are not afraid to make an arrest even when your BAC is below .08 percent if they detect other signs of intoxication. While there are many options for defending against DWI charges in this situation, that may not deter police from making an arrest.

What is a safe amount of alcohol that will ensure I pass a breathalyzer in Houston TX?

Unfortunately, there is no set amount of alcohol a driver can drink and then pass a breathalyzer test. There are many factors that go into how the body absorbs alcohol and predicting them for a certain person is impossible. For certain drivers, a single alcoholic beverage could put that person over the legal limit.

Because of the difficulty in determining how a person might absorb alcohol, there is no surefire way to predict how quickly a person might reach a BAC of .08 percent or higher. Relying on estimates based on online advice or even mobile apps is a good way to find yourself under arrest.

What about portable breathalyzers?

You might be tempted to carry a portable breathalyzer to ensure you are safe to drive. Unfortunately, these devices are rarely accurate. Quality portable breathalyzers cost hundreds of dollars and can become inaccurate if they are not frequently calibrated. These devices are also not helpful while you are drinking, as alcohol in your mouth can give you a false reading.

While these devices may not spare you from a conviction, a Board Certified DWI defense lawyer might be able to.

About the Author

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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If you are facing DWI or other criminal charges in Texas, contact our office today to discuss your case, so we can begin working on your defense. Please provide only your personal email and cell phone number so that we can immediately and confidentially communicate with you.

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C.
902 Heights Blvd.
Houston, TX 77008
713-229-8333
713-583-0205 (fax)

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