Impaired driving is illegal, but this doesn’t mean that people always avoid any alcohol before getting in the car. Many people will have a glass of wine at dinner, for instance, and they will still drive. They know that their BAC is well below the legal limit and they don’t feel impaired, so they believe that it’s safe.
The issue here is that their decision is something of a judgment call. Someone may believe that they aren’t impaired when their BAC is actually much higher than they realize. Most people are not giving themselves breath tests, so they don’t know how quickly this number can increase. They make an assumption about their impairment level and then get arrested when it is wrong.
Key factors to consider
If you’re trying to drive safely and avoid arrest, here are seven factors to keep in mind that can influence how high your BAC is if you’ve been drinking:
- The quantity or number of drinks
- The rate at which those drinks are consumed
- Your body composition and fat percentage
- Your overall body weight
- Your gender – BAC tends to go up more quickly for women
- Your hydration level
- The contents of your stomach
For instance, a 6-foot male who weighs 200 pounds and who just ate a large meal may have a much lower BAC after consuming two drinks than a 5-foot female who weighs 100 pounds and hasn’t eaten in hours. Alcohol certainly doesn’t impact everyone in the same way, so one person may be impaired when the other is not.
Are you facing charges?
Unfortunately, people sometimes do face arrest when they believe that they were driving safely. If you find yourself in this position, considering the impact that this conviction could have on your future, you need to look into your legal defense options.