Blood Alcohol Levels
BAC levels differ slightly for everyone. A heavy person might be able to have two or three drinks before feeling any effects, but a smaller person may have just one drink before those same effects are felt. No matter the actual BAC level, if you’re "impaired," then you are considered legally unable to drive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a wonderful brochure spelling out the ABCs of BAC.
The only sure way to test your blood alcohol concentration is through a chemical test (blood or urine) or a breathalyzer.
For this chart, "one drink" is equal to 1.25 ounces of 80-proof liquor, 12 ounces of regular beer, or 5 ounces of wine. Of course, we all know the contents of "one drink" are relative – in the real world, you never know how much alcohol is in "one" cocktail, or if the alcoholic content exceeds the "standard" levels for that type of drink. Meanwhile hard liquor, such as rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey, is often diluted in a mixed drink and blurs the lines about how many you’ve really had.
Many things speed up or slow how fast alcohol is absorbed into your system, but according to these charts provided by NHTSA, there is a general correlation of how many drinks will affect you based on your gender and weight:
|FEMALES||Number of Drinks|
|MALES||Number of Drinks|
IMPORTANT!! These calculations should only be used as a general guideline for estimating blood or breath alcohol levels. The predicted alcohol levels may not be valid for a given set of circumstances. When in doubt, a qualified expert should be consulted.
If you’re been hit by a suspected drunk driver, the amount of alcohol in that person’s system is important when pursuing a personal injury claim. Always report to police on the scene if you believe someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police will likely administer a breathalyzer or blood test to determine the person’s BAC. That level, whether above or below the legal limit, will be included in the police report. Accident victims should always obtain a copy of the police report.
While this isn’t a guarantee that you will win a personal injury claim, it can greatly help to prove negligence. Drunk driving will play a part because it’s easier for those who are legally intoxicated to be negligent without even realizing it, although being drunk alone is not a case for negligence.
If the drunk driver was arrested at the scene of the accident, follow up on that criminal case. Did he plead guilty, or did the court find him guilty? If so, you have a greater chance of winning your personal injury claim. But your greatest chance of success in getting compensation for your pain and financial losses is to work with a skilled attorney.
If you have been in an accident with a drunk driver and suffered serious injuries as a result, call The Husband and Wife Law Team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. We know how devastating these accidents can be and how they prevent victims from working while leaving them with a stack of medical bills. You don’t have to go through this on your own. We want to help, so give us a call at (602) 267-1280 today.
- Increased Penalties for High Blood Alcohol Content - NCSL
- Impaired Driving - Arizona Department of Public Safety
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer