What Is Blood Alcohol Concentration?
Does Blood Alcohol Concentration Mean a Person is Drunk
A common misconception among people who are arrested and charged with DUI in Arizona is a belief that they were not "drunk" when stopped by police. The law in Arizona states that you can be charged with DUI if the alcohol you consumed prior to driving "impaired your ability to operate a motor vehicle to the slightest degree." Some people have a greater tolerance than others when it comes to alcohol consumption and their blood alcohol concentration. Consequently, other factors aside from BAC such as a person's driving behavior, physical appearance, performance on field sobriety tests, statements to police, etc. are often used as evidence in a prosecution for DUI. Regardless, it is illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle within the State of Arizona with an alcohol concentration at or above .08% within two hours of driving. Moreover, most experts will testify that people are impaired to drive a car with a BAC as low as .04%.
Factors that may affect a person's Blood Alcohol Concentration
Although people have different rates at which their body may absorb and process alcohol, there are a number of factors which can affect a person's alcohol concentration. These include:
- The type of drink which is consumed
- Whether or not binge drinking occurred or drinking occurred over a long period of time
- A person's weight
- A person's Age - As people become older, the effects of alcohol consumption will relatively increase
- A person's Gender - Women are prone to reach a higher blood alcohol concentration than men after consuming a similar amount of alcohol.
- Food - If a person eats while drinking or just before consuming alcohol, the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream will decrease.