Every state has laws on the books that severely prohibit driving under the influence of alcohol. However, when you go out for a night of fun with friends or simply indulge in a few drinks at home, how can you know if you are over the alcohol legal limit in your state? You can stay on the right side of the law without sacrificing your right to consume a few drinks at a restaurant, bar or at home knowing the blood alcohol level that is allowable in your state and also by using a blood alcohol calculator before you drink.
About Blood Alcohol Content
Blood alcohol content, or BAC, refers to the blood alcohol level that you have in your bloodstream after consuming alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, spirits, lagers and other drinks. This level will vary according to a number of factors. Your weight, gender and the number of drinks that you have consumed in a single sitting all play a role in whether or not you are below, at or above the legal limit for alcohol in your bloodstream in your state.
You also have no way of knowing if you are at the legal limit for alcohol allowed by your state unless you take an alcohol blood test or use a BAC calculator before you drive. Many people make the mistake of assuming they are safe to drive after consuming one or two beers or several mixed drinks. In reality, they are above the BAC alcohol limit allowed by their state and thus put themselves in jeopardy for being arrested for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated.
As a point of reference, however, the legal BAC chart for most states starts at 0.08. This number is the amount of alcohol that you can have in your bloodstream and legally be arrested for DUI or DWI. If you are pulled over and asked to submit to a field alcohol blood test that finds you at 0.08 or higher, you could face any number of legal consequences, including being arrested, taken to jail, forced to appear before a judge, and either fined or sentenced to jail time for driving above the legal limit for alcohol in your state.
So how then can you avoid driving under the influence and failing a field sobriety or breath alcohol test? Your best answer could involve using a blood alcohol level calculator before you get behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcoholic beverages. A BAC calculator is programmed to follow the blood alcohol chart used by most states. It will tell you if you are above the minimum 0.08 level and whether or not you are safe to drive a car without putting yourself at risk of being arrested for DUI or DWI.
The calculator will also take into consideration factors like your gender, age and the number of drinks you have consumed. You do not have to guess if you are safe to drive or if you need to wait a while to sober up before getting behind the wheel of a car. A BAC calculator could save you from difficult and expensive legal ramifications of driving under the influence. It could also save the lives of people who may encounter you on the road while you are driving under the influence of alcohol.
Legal BAC State Limits
Every state has its own set of laws when it comes to driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. Depending on where you live, your state may use the 0.08 minimum for people ages 21 and over. Your state may also have a lower BAC alcohol limit for minors under the age of 21.
Given the differences in each state’s laws, it is important for you to take the time to research the laws where you live especially if you want to avoid expensive fines, lengthy jail sentences, and other legal ramifications that come with being arrested for and found guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
In fact, the legal consequences for DUI or DWI can vary according to how inebriated you are while operating a vehicle. If you are barely at the 0.08 legal limit, you might simply be given a fine and told to pay court costs. You also may get away with minor punishments like doing community service or attending several AA meetings in your city or county.
However, if your BAC is significantly over the 0.08 limit, you could be arrested, made to appear before a judge and then sentenced to 30 days or more in the county jail. Moreover, you also could face paying an expensive fine, made to complete community service and attend AA meetings, and also remain on probation for several months. During the time you are serving out your sentence, you could be fired from your job or expelled from school.
The legal punishments for driving over the legal limit in your state get even more extensive if you are a repeat offender or if you damaged property or hurt or killed someone while driving under the influence. Repeat DUI or DWI offenders and people who harm people or property while driving drunk are often sentenced to prison terms and have their driving privileges revoked for years. You also may have to pay financial damages to your victims.
Given these possibilities, it is important that you know how to avoid driving over the legal limit. You should also appreciate the importance of using a blood alcohol calculator whenever possible before driving a car after you have consumed alcohol.
Tips to Avoid Going over the Legal BAC Limit in Your State
You have the ability to control how much alcohol is in your bloodstream at any given time. The most common sense way to stay below the legal BAC limit in your state is to avoid drinking alcohol. However, this suggestion may be impractical especially if you like to go out with friends or indulge in a few drinks at home. You may not want to give up this enjoyment.
Your next option would be to use a blood alcohol level calculator whenever you drink alcohol and before you get behind the wheel of a car. The calculators that you can buy and use are not unlike those used by police officers for a field breath alcohol test. You can find calculators that attach to your phone or key chain. You can blow into these devices to find out if your BAC level if below the legal limit or if you are too inebriated to drive.
The calculators that you can buy in some stores as well as online are programmed according to the BAC chart used by most states. The one you use will tell you if you are at or below the 0.08 alcohol legal limit or if your BAC is much higher than the 0.08 minimum. The calculators are also not difficult to use and give accurate readings. They can be worth the investment, particularly if you already have a DUI or DWI conviction on your driving record.
Depending on what the calculator tells you about your BAC level, you may then want to drink a few cups of coffee to sober up a bit before testing your breath with the calculator again. In fact, if you want to stay below the legal limit for blood alcohol content in your state, you may want to eat food along with your drinks. Studies show that food can slow the absorption of the alcohol and prevent your blood alcohol level from getting too high.
You should also drink water along with your alcohol beverages. Water helps flush the alcohol out of your system faster. By the time you leave the bar or restaurant, your BAC level may be well below the legal limit for your state.
Regardless of whether or not you ate food or drank coffee or water along with your alcoholic drinks, you are advised to use a blood alcohol calculator before you get behind the wheel of a car. You can get the most accurate results by programming the calculator to recognize important statistics about yourself.
It will need to know what gender you are, how much you weigh, how many drinks you have consumed and other details. Based on the information that you program into the calculator, it will then give you an accurate reading so you know if you are safe enough to drive home or if you need to wait until your BAC level drops back below 0.08.
Failing to use one of these breath calculators can put you at risk of being pulled over, tested for drunk driving and possibly arrested. If you do find yourself in the situation of being arrested for drunk driving, it is important for you to know what your rights are and what steps to take to protect yourself from legal troubles related to the charge. You may want to retain legal counsel right away after being arrested for DUI or DWI.
Tips for Dealing with a DUI or DWI Arrest
If you have ignored the readings that your calculator gave you or if you failed to use one of these breathalyzer calculators at all, you may find yourself pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Behaviors like weaving in and out of traffic or stopping and starting suddenly signal to police officers that you could be over the legal alcohol limit in your state. Law enforcement can pull you over and have you undergo field sobriety testing to find out what your BAC level is.
However, even if you do find yourself arrested on a charge of DUI or DWI, you still have rights that must be protected by law. The most important right you have is the right to counsel.
Your lawyer can be an important ally in your defense because he or she will know what the blood alcohol chart is for your state and whether or not your BAC reading was within the allowable legal confines.
Your lawyer can also ask for proof of the breath alcohol test that the police officer gave to you right after you were pulled over on suspicion of DUI or DWI. If your lawyer believes the test was not given correctly or finds that your BAC level was below the 0.08 limit, he or she could ask the court to have the charges against you lowered or dismissed.
Your state has well-defined DUI laws that stipulate the allowable BAC levels for drivers. You can avoid being arrested and facing steep legal consequences for drunk driving by knowing what the legal BAC limit is in your state and realizing the importance of using a blood alcohol level calculator before you drive a car after consuming alcohol.