What does your level of blood alcohol concentration mean?

Posted by Craig Penrod | Jan 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

We have all heard of the phrase blood alcohol concentration or BAC as it relates to driving under the influence (DUI) and the effects of consuming alcohol. Most of you may already know that it is important to avoid exceeding the limits that define DUI. What you may not know is how certain BAC levels impact your bodily functions.

In Tempe, Phoenix or other communities in Maricopa County, it is important that you consult experienced Arizona DUI lawyers like those associated with the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.

It is important to know the level of intoxication at which people lose motor skills, have slurred speech or blurred vision. It is important to know the number of drinks it takes before persons risk more permanent injuries or even death.

What do the the numbers mean when related to BAC? Here is a breakdown of how certain BAC levels might affect your bodily function. To be clear, alcoholic beverages effect each person differently and their levels of tolerance could have an impact on how the BAC relates to bodily functions.

  • 0.02-0.06: A BAC between 0.02 and 0.06 normally indicates that you are feeling the early effects of alcohol. There may not be a loss of coordination or a substantive loss of functions, however a person may be feeling a slight euphoria with a slight lowering of inhibitions. Most people feel a greater level of relaxation at this level combined with being slightly light-headed. At the higher end of this BAC level, persons may experience a sense of warmth with an impairment of reason and memory. For some persons, their behaviors will become exaggerated and their emotions may become more intense.
  • 0.07-0.10: At this stage of BAC, persons start to feel intoxicated and some cognitive abilities may be lost. There may be an impairment of balance, speech or hearing. Keep in mind that a BAC of 0.08 is legally a DUI for adults in the state of Arizona, as the blood alcohol level can also result in slower reaction times and impaired judgment. A BAC of 0.07-0.10 normally means that persons may feel a loss of self-control and caution due to impairment of reason and memory. This level of intoxication can result in persons feeling more in control and functioning at a level higher than they really are.
  • 0.11-0.19: Impairment at these BAC levels is more severe and person can experience a significant loss of their motor coordination and judgment. A person may begin to slur their speech, lose their balance or even lose their hearing. Also, their feelings of euphoria will intensify and their inhibitions will be reduced. The higher the BAC level, the more likely a person will lose physical control and possibly begin to feel anxiety. Judgment and perception are likely to be impaired and a person may begin to feel nauseous. When person reaches a BAC level of 0.19, it's likely that they are in the sloppy drunk phase.
  • .020-0.30: As the BAC level increases, a person may experience disorientation and require assistance in walking. A person could be injured without experiencing pain. When a BAC reaches 0.20, a person could feel nausea and vomiting. It's possible to also experience a blackout. At a BAC of 0.25, the cognitive and physical abilities of a person will likely be severely impaired. Should a person pass out, there is a severe risk asphyxiation from vomiting, as well as a risk of injury by falling or other situations. Should a person reach a BAC of 0.30, their little ability to comprehend their surroundings will be impaired. At a BAC of 0.30, it is very likely that a person will pass out.
  • 0.31-0.40: A BAC at these levels is very dangerous. If person passes out, they may not be able to be awakened. Any BAC at this level and beyond could result in a coma and the possibility of death.

It is important that your DUI legal situation should be handled by expert professionals with the experience possessed by the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C. Our office offers free consultations for all DUI and criminal matters. Our Arizona DUI attorneys and Arizona criminal lawyers can provide you with the experience and knowledge needed for qualified representation. An experienced Arizona DUI lawyer is vital in DUI cases and our DUI attorneys set that standard. If you're in need of a criminal defense, our Arizona criminal attorneys are ready to assist you.

About the Author

Craig Penrod

Craig W. Penrod was born and raised in Arizona and has practiced criminal defense for over 30 years. Mr. Penrod is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, State of Nevada Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


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