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Home > Blog > OUI/DUI/DWI > Several Ways to Estimate Your BAC
Mar 23, 2016

Several Ways to Estimate Your BAC

If you’re driving and see police lights in your mirror, directing you to the side of the road, it quickly becomes very difficult to keep a clear mind, especially if you’ve had a few drinks recently. You’re suddenly very worried about what you did that might have caught the cop’s attention, what you have in the car that could get you in trouble, and whether you could pass a breathalyzer test if the officer demands one.

The last issue – whether you can pass a breathalyzer test – is one of the most important to know in this context. If you think that you can pass the test, but end up being wrong, you’ll be giving law enforcement the “smoking gun” piece of evidence that they think they need to convict you for operating under the influence (OUI). If you think you can pass a breathalyzer and you’re right, though, some cops will let you go on your way. At the very least it will be a nice piece of evidence in your defense if the case goes to trial.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell, with any degree of certainty, what your blood alcohol content (BAC) is. Everyone feels the effects of alcohol differently, so there’s no “roadmap of intoxication” that you can use to determine if you’re at or above the legal limit of 0.08% BAC.

There are, however, several ways to estimate your BAC. Numerous sites online provide an estimate by using your gender, weight, when you last ate, and how many beers you’ve had, and when. While these websites are by nature imprecise, they can be helpful to give you an idea of what your BAC is, and whether you’d be able to pass a breathalyzer test.

Another way to estimate your BAC is to think about your symptoms. Of course, this requires a level and clear head, so if it becomes difficult to determine how you feel and how the alcohol is affecting you, then you probably won’t be able to pass a breathalyzer test:

BACSymptoms
0.01 to about 0.06In this range, most people feel relaxed, and have an increased sense of well-being, though their coordination, judgment, and thoughts will increasingly become impaired
About 0.06 to about 0.10In this range, most people start becoming more extroverted and open as they lose inhibitions. Their vision, reflexes and ability to reason become increasingly impaired
About 0.11 to about 0.20In this range, most people start experiencing large emotional swings, often without any rational cause. Their speech and reaction time starts getting affected
About 0.21 and overMost people start experiencing blackouts at this point, with their basic motor skills becoming more and more impaired

It’s important to remember that these symptoms are only what most people feel when they reach a range of BAC levels. Especially where one range of BACs meets another, it might be more difficult to determine where you fall. However, it’s also important to remember that, in Maine, you can still be arrested and convicted for OUI even if your BAC is under 0.08%.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for OUI, you need an experienced OUI-defense attorney like William T. Bly. Call his law office at (207) 571-8146 or contact him online.

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