When you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, a test is performed to measure the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream, also known as BAC or “blood alcohol content.” Typically, this is done via breathalyzer but it can also be done with a blood test. Blood tests are usually not measured at the scene of the arrest like a breathalyzer.
According to federal laws, a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle becomes impaired after the blood alcohol level reaches 0.08% or more. If you are stopped by an officer of the law and have to submit to a BAC test and it is determined that you have an alcohol level over this limit, you will be arrested and charged with a DUI.
How much alcohol is in your bloodstream depends on how many drinks you have over what period of time, as well as how heavy you are and whether you are male or female. A “drink” is considered one 12 oz. beer, one 5 oz. glass of wine or one 1.5 oz. of spirits.
A 175 pound male can have roughly four drinks in a one hour period and only reach a 0.07% BAC. A 250 pound male must drink six drinks in a one hour period to reach a 0.07% BAC.
A 120 pound female can have approximately 2 drinks within a one hour period without going over the limit, clocking in at just 0.06% BAC. However, a third drink in an hour’s time for a 120 pound woman will increase her BAC to 0.09%, resulting in a DUI.
However, this drink limit doesn’t apply to each hour. Only one additional drink in the second hour will increase the BAC in all cases to very nearly the limit. It is important to be aware of how much you’re drinking, because you may not necessarily “feel tipsy,” but you still may be over the limit.