A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above is considered illegal for people operating vehicles in Illinois. If you are pulled over by law enforcement officials and found to have a BAC level above this legal limit, you will be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
BAC is a measure of the concentration of alcohol in the blood at the time. You can have a high BAC level even after only one drink and end up with a DUI. This is because there are various factors that affect how fast the alcohol you drink enters your bloodstream. These factors will influence your BAC test results.
The alcohol content of your beverage
Did you have a bottle of beer or a shot of whisky? The alcohol content of these beverages differs a great deal. This will influence your BAC levels. If you consumed a drink with a high alcohol level, your BAC will be much higher than that of someone who consumed the same volume of a drink with a lower alcohol level.
Your height and weight
Your height and weight will also influence your BAC. People who weigh more and are taller will typically have greater volumes of water in their bodies. This helps to dilute the alcohol they consume. You could consume the same volume of alcohol and end up having a higher BAC than someone that is heavier and taller than you.
Gender affects the rate of absorption of alcohol in the body. Women tend to have higher BAC results than men that have consumed the same volume of alcohol. This is because their bodies absorb alcohol at a faster rate than men.
Faster absorption of alcohol in women is attributed to their higher body fat percentage. It is also attributed to the lower levels of the enzyme dehydrogenase in women. This enzyme processes alcohol. Because women have lower levels of the enzyme, they will have higher concentrations of alcohol in their blood compared to men of the same height and weight.
Duration of consumption
For most people, consuming alcohol quickly or in a short duration will result in a higher BAC. If you consume your beverages slowly over a longer period of time, your BAC will be reduced. Therefore, if a person takes 4 beers in an hour, their BAC will be much higher than a person of the same height and weight that consumed 4 beers over 3 hours.
Your food intake
The final factor is the amount of food you have consumed while drinking. This will influence how quickly the alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream. If you consume alcohol on an empty stomach, it will be absorbed much faster into the bloodstream. You will therefore have a higher BAC than someone that drank the same volume of alcohol while eating a meal.
If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, get in touch with a seasoned criminal defense attorney. There are various ways that lawyers can argue against a BAC test to get your charges dropped. These include considering the factors above.