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What You Need to Know About BAC

BAC stands for blood alcohol concentration. BAC is the amount of alcohol found in someone's blood as weight per unit of volume. The legal limit of .08 means that .08% of all of the blood in a person's body is alcohol at that time. When a driver's BAC is .08 or over, it means they are legally considered too impaired to safely drive a vehicle.

The more alcohol someone drinks in a set period of time, the higher their BAC will be. This can vary based on the individual's gender, weight, meals eaten that day, rate of consumption (how quickly they drank multiple drinks), and the strength of the drink.


This has nothing to do with alcohol tolerance, which refers to how much someone must drink before they feel too drunk. Someone with a low alcohol tolerance may feel intoxicated with a low BAC, while someone with a high BAC may be well-over the legal limit before they feel impaired.

Drivers can exhibit symptoms at different BAC levels, such as:

· At .02% BAC,the individual experiences divided attention, decreased visual functions, difficultly focusing on multiple things.

· At .05% BAC, the person experiences decreased reflexes, control, and coordination.

· At .08% BAC, the person loses the ability to control speed or process information, as well as short-term memory issues.

· At .10% BAC, the person loses the ability to control motor skills, such as lengthened reaction time.

· At .15%, the person experiences significant problems controlling motor skills, such as driving a vehicle, and the inability to concentrate or visually focus.

When a driver is pulled over and has their BAC tested, this will determine whether they have illegally gotten behind the wheel of a car. One of the ways an officer will determine this is asking for a breath or blood test.

Regardless of how impaired a driver feels, they can be charged with DUI if their BAC is at or above .08. Further, a driver with a low alcohol tolerance can be arrested if they are impaired but below the legal limit.