Alcohol Levels and How They Affect People

Many clients facing drunk driving charges confess to their Asheville DUI lawyer that they had a drink or two, but they were feeling just fine. Plus, there were situations when they had drunk less, but felt more impaired than on the occasion when they were pulled over.

The fact is that alcohol affects the human body in different ways depending on a wide range of circumstances. This is why we decided to discuss the topic of blood alcohol levels and the factors that create different effects on people.

Blood Alcohol Levels Explained 

When you blow in a Breathalyzer device, it measures the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the air. According to North Carolina law, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.

However, you can be charged with DWI (driving while impaired) even if your BAC level is below this limit and the police officer believes that you are not fully able to safely control the vehicle.

So let us look at various BAC levels and their common effect on the human body.

Up to 0.02 BAC

This is the lowest alcohol level that has an impact on you. You usually experience feelings of relaxation, an altered mood, and warmth spreading through your body.

0.05 BAC

At this level, your behavior starts changing. You may gesticulate more and talk louder. Also, the muscles controlling fine movements start getting impaired. This means that you may be unable to write well or focus your eyes.

0.08 BAC

This is the legal BAC limit for driving. However, at this point, alcohol consumption may cause you to experience:

  • Slower judgment and reasoning
  • Reduced coordination
  • Diminished ability to speak clearly and hear.

0.10 BAC

At this BAC level, most people will experience slurred speaking and reduced reaction time and ability to coordinate movements.

0.15 BAC

This is a very high alcohol level. It severely reduced the ability to walk and keep one’s balance. People with this BAC level may fall down even when walking on an even surface.

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BAC between 0.20 and 0.29

This equals heavy drinking and induces feelings of confusion and disorientation. Many people also experience blackouts, nausea, and vomiting.

BAC between 0.30 and 0.39

At this point, the level of alcohol is so high as to cause loss of consciousness, irregular breathing, and an increased heart rate.

0.40 BAC and Over

This level of alcohol in the body will put most people in a coma or even cause sudden death.

What Is a Moderate Level of Alcohol?

An experienced Asheville DUI attorney knows that this answer is one of the most difficult to answer. The fact is that each person is affected by the same type and quantity of alcohol differently.

Several factors make a difference.

  • Gender: Women experience increased alcohol effects than men.
  • Speed of drinking: Drinking fast will lead to more severe impairment
  • Weight: people with a lower body weight will get more impaired by alcohol
  • Eating: Drinking on an empty stomach leads to faster absorption of alcohol
  • Drinking carbonated alcohol: Sparkling wine and champagne have a more powerful effect compared to regular wine or other non-carbonated alcoholic drinks.

How Long Until Your BAC Level Decreases?

Here is another important thing to know about lowering the BAC level: no food, drink, or other tricks will help you. Your BAC level will decrease only by waiting until your body processes and eliminates alcohol from the system.

Here is the average scale of BAC decrease:

  • 1 hour – BAC reduced by 0.015
  • 2 hours – BAC reduced by 0.030
  • 3 hours – BAC reduced by 0.045
  • 4 hours – BAC reduced by 0.060
  • 5 hours – BAC reduced by 0.075
  • 6 hours – BAC reduced by 0.090.

Charged with a High BAC Level? Talk to an Experienced Asheville DUI Lawyer!

A DUI charge carries severe penalties if you end up being convicted. This conviction will remain on your record permanently and will have a negative impact on your future life and career.

For this reason, you need to contact an experienced Asheville DUI lawyer as soon as you are charged. Do not talk to the police and do not give any recorded statement without an attorney beside you. This is how many people inadvertently give the police evidence that will be used against them in court.

Your best option is to call us at 828-759-5556 to at schedule a free case review and start building your defense!

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