Have you ever driven drunk? How do you know? The truth is what some people call drunk may be what others call sober, and for that reason, law enforcement must rely on some particular guidelines when it comes to determining whether or not someone is intoxicated. These guidelines are based on blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Your BAC is a measurement of how much alcohol you have in your system, as indicated by a breathalyzer test. Want some further understanding of BAC and its impact on your life? Read on to learn more:
Why BAC? It is impossible to tell how intoxicated someone is based solely on how much they’ve had to drink. That is because alcohol affects everyone differently, due to differences in metabolism, body weight, gender, tolerance, and body chemistry. To get around these differences and assess everyone by the same standard, the BAC was developed to measure the concentration of alcohol in the blood.
What does BAC measure? Blood alcohol concentration is given in the form of a percentage and is representative of the portion of the blood’s volume that is alcohol. For example, a BAC of .010 indicates that a person’s blood is one percent alcohol.
How much is too much? Cognitive functioning becomes more inhibited as you consume more alcohol, so the law dictates just how much alcohol is too much for operating a motor vehicle. Studies show that even the smallest amount of alcohol consumption is enough to impair your ability to drive, but the law forbids anyone with a BAC over 0.08 from driving.
What are the effects of a high BAC? When your BAC reaches 0.08, your muscle coordination, judgment, memory, reasoning, reaction time, vision, and information processing ability are all impaired. People with a BAC of 0.08 are eleven times more likely than those with a 0.00 BAC to get into an automobile collision. That risk increases to 52 percent likelihood with a BAC of 0.10!
Consequences. Of course, the most serious and grave of the effects is a car accident that results in death, for you and the innocent party involved. Additionally, if you are caught driving with an inappropriately high BAC, you could suffer several possible consequences (depending on your legal record), including jail time, license suspension, and hefty fines.
As you can see, the blood alcohol concentration is not something to be taken lightly. It can be a matter of life and death. The next time you are out having a good time, think twice about taking your valuable time on the road and changing your life for the worse, forever.