Blood alcohol content can be impacted by many different factors

There are a variety of different factors that impact how quickly a person’s blood alcohol content level rises after consuming an alcoholic beverage.

Blood alcohol content is defined as the weight of alcohol in proportion to a certain volume of blood in a person's body, states the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, a person may be charged with a DWI if he or she drives with a BAC level at or above 0.08.

What affects a person's BAC level?

There are many different factors that affect how quickly a person's BAC level rises after consuming an alcoholic beverage. According to the NHTSA, these include some of the following:

  • How quickly the alcohol is consumed-when a person consumes alcohol at a rapid rate, his or her BAC level will rise faster than if he or she had consumed the alcohol at a slower pace.
  • The person's gender-typically, alcohol remains in the blood of women longer than men because in comparison with men, women generally have less water and more body weight per pound.
  • The amount of food in the person's stomach-absorption of alcohol into the body's system can be slowed if the person has had something to eat.
  • How much the person weighs-the more a person weighs, the more water there is in his or her body. Within the body, water can dilute the amount of alcohol in the person's system and thus reduce his or her BAC level.

However, the type of alcohol consumed does not affect a person's BAC level. The NHTSA states that most alcoholic beverages contain about half an ounce of alcohol, which is the same amount in one 12-ounce beer, one five-ounce glass of wine and one shot of distilled spirits.

DWI penalties in Texas

Because there are so many factors that impact BAC level, it can be difficult for a driver to determine whether or not his or her BAC level has exceeded the legal limit of 0.08. When this occurs, a driver may be charged with drinking and driving and face the severe penalties associated with this offense.

In Texas, the penalties a person faces after being charged with DWI depend on the number of prior convictions on his or her record. For example, the TXDOT states that a person convicted of DWI for the first time is required to pay a fine of up to $2,000 and may have to spend between three and 180 days in jail. In comparison, a person convicted of a second DWI offense may have to spend up to a year in jail and pay a fine that does not exceed $4,000.

Contact an attorney

In addition to the financial and legal consequences associated with a DWI offense, those in Texas convicted of drinking and driving may find that their employment opportunities become limited and that their reputation within their local community is harmed. If you were arrested for intoxicated driving, speak with an attorney to find out what you can do to protect your legal rights at this time.

Keywords: DUI, drunk driving, arrest, charges

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