There are many reasons that the legal limit for driving after drinking is based on someone’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and not the specific number of drinks they consumed. For one thing, drinks are measured differently and their true alcohol content can be hard to track, but the bigger issue is that alcohol does not hit every person who consumes it in exactly the same way.
Your own level of intoxication could be much lower or much higher than someone else’s, even when the two of you had the exact same number of drinks.
Everyone has different characteristics that affect intoxication levels
Every person who drinks has their own set of personal factors that can determine how high their BAC climbs after drinking. This includes things like:
- Drinking history
- Stomach contents
- Tolerance levels
For example, say that you are six feet tall and you weigh 200 pounds. If you have a single drink, you may barely feel it and still be able to drive. If you’re with someone who is just over five feet tall and who weighs 100 pounds, that same drink could make them feel intoxicated almost immediately. If you’re a male and your companion is female, that also plays into it because of the way your bodies process alcohol at different speeds.
To balance all of this out, police use BAC as a gauge for intoxication. In the example above, the second person would have a higher BAC than the first, despite their consuming the exact same drink as their friend.
Are you facing OUI charges?
In some cases, people get arrested on OUI charges when they didn’t realize they were over the limit — or when they honestly think they aren’t impaired. If this happens to you, be sure you understand your defense options. Working with an experienced defense attorney is the best thing you can do to protect your future and your rights.