DWAI/DUI Blood Alcohol Content (Blood Alcohol Concentration)

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Definition in Jefferson County

Blood alcohol content, or "BAC," simply refers to the amount (or concentration) of alcohol found in one's bloodstream. In Jefferson County, Colorado courts, this is stated as a percentage, representing the "weight of alcohol in a fixed volume of blood" (Dictionary.com). Police officers suspecting a driver of being intoxicated will test the driver's BAC through a Breathalyzer or a Blood Test.

Douglas County DWAI / DUI Blood Alcohol Content (Blood Alcohol Concentration) Anatomy Factors

Some people think that they can limit themselves to a certain number of drinks. The difficulty of doing this after having consumed alcohol should be a concern. Yet a greater concern is that the alcohol content in each drink is what matters, more than the actual number of drinks consumed. For example, one dark beer like a Guinness contains 4.3% alcohol by volume, whereas a dry martini contains anywhere from 37-42% alcohol. Furthermore, a person's BAC level directly relates to that person's own anatomy. This is a complex puzzle, so it is best not to drive at all after drinking. There are too many factors that can contribute to any particular motorist's BAC reading in Douglas County. Some contributing factors are:

  • Body Weight
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Body Fat Percentage
  • Metabolism
  • Food Eaten
  • Time / Rate of Alcohol Consumption
  • Rate of Alcohol Absorption
  • Your Tolerance for Alcohol

Gender affects one's BAC reading, as males have a higher percentage of body water than females. Age will also affect this, because as adults get older, their percentage of body water decreases. If you have not eaten recently, or have not eaten very much, alcohol will have a much stronger affect on your body.

DUI Blood Alcohol Percentage Law in Arapahoe County, Colorado - What Is the Limit?

For purposes of Colorado DUI / DWAI law enforcement, BAC is used to define whether a person's ability to drive was "impaired" or "under the influence." In the state of Colorado, a person who is 21 years of age or older may not operate a motor vehicle with a BAC level of .08 percent or higher by law. A BAC of at least .08 percent will establish a presumption that the motorist was driving under the influence (DUI), while a BAC of at least .05 percent but less than .08 percent, will infer that the motorist was driving while ability was impaired (DWAI). If a motorist has a BAC of less than .05 percent, it is presumed that the motorist was not impaired by the consumption of alcohol. However, Arapahoe County motorists younger than 21 years old have stricter regulations regarding their blood alcohol content, and can still be found impaired at low BAC levels. Repeat offenders also have harsher penalties.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Chart for Adams County, Colorado

As mentioned above, gender and weight play a major role in the contribution to someone's BAC reading. A 120lb female may be considered legally intoxicated after only 2 drinks in one hour, whereas a 160lb man might be able to drink up to 4 drinks in an hour to have a BAC reading 0.9% and thus be legally intoxicated. The following national charts illustrate how weight and gender affect BAC percentage based on the number of drinks ingested in one hour:

Women BAC Chart

women blood alcohol content chart

Men BAC Chart

men blood alcohol content chart

Testing BAC in Denver County

Denver County DUI / DWAI police officers most often use various infrared light absorption machines (commonly called "Breathalyzers" by the public) to determine a person's BAC level based on breath. BAC can also be obtained by drawing a sample of blood from the motorist and submitting the blood sample to a laboratory to test the blood. Most laboratories use processes such as gas chromatography and headspace gas chromatography to measure the alcohol contained in such blood samples. Each of these methods has strengths and weaknesses associated with its process. Your Colorado DUI / DWAI lawyer has resources to evaluate the specific testing done in your case.

Read HERE about inaccuracies in BAC testing.

DWAI / DUI Attorney in Denver, Colorado

The Denver, Colorado DWAI / DUI attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office, P.C., are familiar with BAC testing procedures and how to defend drivers from presumed impairment BAC levels. Our defense attorneys frequently review BAC testing, procedures and regulations. If you are facing Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Ability Impaired charges, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact our experienced lawyers at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.


chart source: https://www.tabc.state.tx.us/publications/brochures/BACCharts.pdf

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