How BAC Levels Affect DUI and DWI Cases?

BAC, or Blood alcohol concentration, refers to the amount of alcohol in someone’s blood. In Texas, drivers aged 21 and over are legally intoxicated if their BAC is 0.08% or more. However, for drivers under 21, even a trace of alcohol in their system is already considered against the law. Commercial drivers, like truck drivers, must adhere to the standard drink limit of 0.04%.

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s body. Blood alcohol content (BAC) can be precisely assessed within a span of 30 to 70 minutes of reaction time following alcohol consumption.

Understanding the factors that impact your BAC helps you make informed decisions about your alcohol consumption. This knowledge can assist in lowering the potential dangers associated with alcohol consumption.

Factors influencing BAC levels

The effects of alcohol on your body can change depending on whether you’ve eaten or not. If you eat a big chunk of a meal while drinking a glass of wine, your blood alcohol level might not go up as much as when you drink the same amount on an empty stomach.

Your body fat level affects how alcohol is processed. Fat cells are slower at breaking down alcohol compared to other cells.

Gender affects alcohol consumption. Women, who have more body fat and less water weight, retain alcohol in their bloodstream for a longer time than men.

Surprisingly, just a few drinks can push your alcohol concentration (BAC) levels over the legal limit. For instance, someone weighing 140 pounds can reach a BAC of 0.69 after having three drinks. Many services publish BAC charts to help measure legal limits.

Types of BAC Testing

Breath Testing: Police frequently use breath tests to estimate BAC as they are quick, portable, and deliver instant results through devices called breathalyzers.

However, breathalyzers often treat everyone as similar, leading to potential mistakes due to this “averaging” assumption. Additionally, external factors like paint, thinner, glue, gasoline, and diet can affect breath test results. Generally, breath tests are less precise than blood tests.

Blood Alcohol Testing: Agreeing to a blood test for BAC is often required, and refusing it can result in legal penalties such as losing your license. Research indicates that those who refuse blood tests face tougher consequences. While blood tests are more accurate than breath or urine tests, lab errors due to mishandling can occur.

Urine Testing: These tests are not as precise as breath and blood tests and are usually a backup when other tests aren’t an option. Since urine tests can’t be done right away like during a traffic stop, the time that passes can impact the accuracy of the results.

Field Sobriety Tests: Police officers observe certain signs during field sobriety tests. These tests commonly consist of the one-leg stand, walk-and-turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) tests.

Penalties for Different BAC Levels

People often use DUI and DWI interchangeably, but there’s a difference in Texas. If you’re 21 or older, you’ll be charged with DWI, while those under 21 are charged with DUI. Each age group has its own criteria for what’s considered intoxicated.

DUI: Driving Under the Influence

If you’re under 21, Texas has zero-tolerance laws for DUI. This means even a small amount of alcohol intoxication or other substances while driving is against the law.

For a first-time DUI without added factors, it’s considered a Class C misdemeanor. This leads to a fine of $500 with no associated jail time. Your license could be suspended for 60 days. You might also need to do 20 to 40 hours of community service and take a program about alcohol abuse.

DWI: Driving While Intoxicated

For the first offense, the individual could face jail time ranging from 72 hours to six months. For the standard BAC level of 0.08, the fine begins at $2,000, and it can go up to a maximum of $4,000 for a BAC level of.15 percent or above.

On the second offense, the jail term extends from 30 days to one year, with fines reaching a maximum of $4,000.

For the third offense, the period of imprisonment is two to ten years, accompanied by a fine that could go up to $10,000.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

If you’re dealing with charges of DUI or DWI because of your BAC levels, it’s crucial to consider seeking help from a skilled criminal defense attorney. An attorney experienced with DUI and DWI cases can offer valuable legal counsel, direction, and support throughout the legal proceedings.

In Texas Criminal Defense Group we can assess the particulars of your case, examine the accusations against you, and formulate a robust defense strategy that suits your unique circumstances. We’ll also handle negotiations with the prosecution on your behalf and stand up for your rights and welfare in the courtroom.