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Exceeding the 0.08% BAC limit can happen to anyone

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Blog, Criminal Defense |

In 2022, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported more than 23,000 convictions for driving under the influence. This is a prevalent issue, but it is likely many of those with convictions had no intention of drunk driving.

The legal limit in the state is 0.08% blood alcohol content, which is quite low. It is very easy to be over that threshold and not even know it.

The general rule of alcohol processing

The body processes alcohol at a rate of about one standard drink per hour. A standard drink is equivalent to 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer. However, various factors can influence how alcohol affects an individual and how quickly their BAC rises.

Factors influencing alcohol processing

One factor that influences how a body processes alcohol is how fast a person consumes alcohol. Downing multiple drinks in quick succession causes alcohol to enter the bloodstream rapidly, leading to a quick increase in BAC.

Body weight also plays a significant role. Smaller individuals tend to feel the effects of alcohol more intensely. With the same number of drinks, a person with a lower body weight can reach a higher BAC than someone larger.

Food intake matters as well. Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach leads to faster absorption into the bloodstream, causing a quicker rise in BAC.

Gender is another factor. Women generally have a higher proportion of body fat and a lower proportion of water, leading to a higher concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream. This means that women can reach the 0.08% BAC limit more quickly than men, even when consuming the same amount of alcohol.

Driving with a BAC of over 0.08% is dangerous and illegal. To avoid exceeding the limit, people should try to limit drinks to one per hour, but the best option is to have a designated driver or hire a service instead of getting behind the wheel.



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