As a driver, you have likely heard the term “BAC” before. It stands for blood alcohol content, and officers use this as a unit of measurement. Using tools like breath analysis devices, they can measure the BAC level in your blood stream. This tells them how drunk you are.
But how accurate is the BAC level rating? Can a breath test accurately analyze how drunk you feel? Can it tell how many drinks you had before driving?
Factors that affect BAC
Healthline examines how you may feel at different BAC levels. The first thing to note is that alcohol impacts the body differently for every person. Many factors go into the reaction between you and alcohol. Some factors that are out of your hands include your weight, gender and age. Your tolerance may impact you, too.
What you consume also changes how alcohol affects you. This can include mediations you take, foods you eat before drinking, and how hydrated you are. On top of that, different alcohols can have different effects on the same individual.
What is tipsiness?
In other words, not even you can predict how alcohol will affect you every single time. Because of this, BAC levels vary greatly, too. In fact, the “tipsy” stage covers anywhere from 0.03 to 0.12 percent BAC. This is a wide range, half of which is illegal by law. Yet, the “drunk” stage does not even start until 0.09 percent.
For you, 0.03 percent may feel like nothing. For someone else, they may feel wasted at 0.05 percent. There is no true way to determine your BAC level based on how you feel. Because of that, drivers should avoid getting behind the wheel even if they barely had anything to drink.