Because drinking affects everyone differently, blood alcohol concentration factors can make a real difference. So here we explain what to look for when looking at BAC readings.
So What Are Blood Alcohol Concentration Factors?
While breath testing machines treats everyone the same, alcohol affects everyone differently. For example, your height, weight, sex, type of alcohol, time consumed, food intake all play a role. In addition, a fever or dehydration also can make a change in your BAC reading. However, contrary to common belief, your drinking history or tolerance for drinking does not affect your blood levels. Consequently, if you are short, skinny, and female (like Roo), drinking less can still cause a higher BAC.
In addition, the “number” is just that – a number. So in years past, the “legal limit” was 0.10, and you could drink at age 18. But now, the “number” is lower based on NHTSA studies, not medical science. Rather, sometimes it just seems like political theater to make the public “feel” safer. But are we really better off at 0.08? In fact, 0.02 only made more people guilty of a crime.
So Is Drinking Responsibly an Option?
Because blood alcohol concentration factors make a difference, can we still use our best judgement and drink responsibly? While billboards say “don’t drink and drive,” it’s ok so long as you don’t blow 0.08 or higher. Right? Not really. Rather than take a chance, you should not drive with any scent of alcohol on your breath. Consequently, if an officer smells alcohol, they change to a DWI investigation, and you lose. In addition, even if below 0.08, you can still be arrested and prosecuted if “appreciably” impaired. So these days, you really can’t drink at all and get behind the wheel. Maybe we’ve gone too far in our laws as we tend to do. After all, politicians regularly go overboard in a good intentioned attempt to legislate all risks away. Unfortunately, the “baby with the bathwater” scenario is usually the end result.