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  • How is Your Blood Alcohol Content Calculated?

    Posted on by JACK MKHITARIAN

    man taking a breath testYou know that the legal limit (known as the blood alcohol content limit, or BAC) is 0.08 percent. But, how is that amount calculated? The science behind the BAC is rather fascinating and important to know – especially if you are ever arrested for a DUI in New Mexico.

    Your body’s BAC is the amount of alcohol registered in your bloodstream, which is measured in grams of alcohol per 100 grams of blood. The legal limit, for example, means that you have eight grams of alcohol per 100 grams of blood – this equates to 0.08 percent. If you are over the age of 21 and driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, then you could be arrested for a DUI.

    Can You Calculate Your Own BAC?

    The best way to avoid a DUI is to not drive while intoxicated. But, even those who feel that they are not intoxicated may be surprised to find that they are well over the legal limit. If you have had a drink (or more), then you can calculate your potential BAC, and make an educated decision regarding whether you should operate a vehicle.

    The BAC is affected by your weight, as well as the number of drinks that you have had. A person who weighs less will have a higher BAC than those who weigh more.

    You can calculate your BAC by:

    1. Count the number of drinks that you have consumed. One drink is equal to an ounce of 100-proof liquor, a five-ounce glass of wine or a 12-ounce bottle of beer.
    2. Use a BAC chart, which is available online, to compare your body weight to the number of drinks consumed. This provides you with your estimated BAC level.
    3. Then, subtract your estimated BAC level from your “burn up” rate – which is the time that has elapsed since your first drink. A person’s body typically burns alcohol at a rate of 0.15 percent per hour. Therefore, if you weighed 180 pounds and you drank eight drinks in four hours, your BAC would be estimated at .107 percent – over the legal limit.

    Use an App or Online Calculator

    If you have been drinking, there are smartphone apps that can help you calculate your estimated BAC. These apps will request your age, weight, and sex, and then the number of drinks – as well as when you started drinking. The app will then provide you with an estimated BAC. These calculators are also available online for free.

    Have You Been Arrested for a DUI?

    Knowing how many drinks that you had, and when you first started drinking, is a crucial piece of evidence in your own DUI defense. If you have been arrested for a DUI in New Mexico, realize that you could face a driver’s license suspension, jail time, and harsh fines. You can protect your freedom and right to drive by contacting an experienced attorney. The DUI attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices can help. Schedule a free case evaluation now by calling us at 505-375-4767, or fill out our online contact form. An expert attorney will be in touch with you as soon as possible.