Alcohol can have a strong effect the mind and body. For this very reason, the government regulates the age at which people are allowed to drink alcohol, and most especially tries to prevent people from driving while intoxicated.
BAC in Oklahoma
Impairment due to alcohol can be difficult to judge. For this reason, the government uses blood alcohol content as a basis on which to judge how impaired a driver is. BAC is an imperfect metric, as the numbers can mean different things in different people.
- If the driver is under the age of 21, a BAC of .02% or above is considered under the influence and can result in a DUI charge Under 21 charge.
- If the driver is over 21, impairment is assumed at .08% and above and a DUI can be issued if that threshold is met.
- Oklahoma is one of the few states that has a lesser charge than DUI. In Oklahoma, if you show impaired driving and test a .06% or .07 % BAC, then you can be charges with Driving While Impaired (DWI).
The Importance of BAC Levels
It is important to understand that .08% (or .06 or .07) can mean very different things in different people. Someone who has a high tolerance may be able to operate normally at or above .08%, while someone with a low tolerance might be impaired below that number as well.
What Can Affect BAC?
There are other factors that will affect a person’s BAC levels. For example, if the person has eaten before drinking or drank on an empty stomach. Food affects the absorption of ethanol into the blood as most of the absorption is done in the lower intestine. Having a full stomach means it takes longer for the ethanol to get to the lower intestine and thus is absorbed slower. Keep in mind that the body starts eliminating ethanol as soon as it enters the system so the longer it takes to absorb, the more time the body is also eliminating ethanol.
Other factors include whether a person has had any weight loss surgeries, their metabolism and whether they are male or female. Body size and BMI can also affect BAC levels.
Although there are many factors that can determine a person’s actual level of impairment, the .08% threshold is of immense legal importance. If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence or driving while impaired, it is important that an experienced DUI defense attorney is involved as soon as possible.
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At Hunsucker Legal Group, our team includes some of the most experienced DUI attorneys in the country. We know DUI law and can help you understand your charges and build a strong defense.
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