The breathalyzer scale used today by law enforcement and the court system is regarded as highly reliable. It bases the level of intoxication on a number of factors including a person’s gender, weight and age. These factors combined to determine how much alcohol a person can consume before he or she is over the legal BAC limit to drive in any given state.
In general, it provides a basic test that law enforcement can use to decide whether or not to detain and test a person for alcohol intoxication. The alcohol BAC scale indicates that heavier people typically can consume more alcohol than people who weigh less. Likewise, men can consume more alcohol than women before they are considered to be over the legal BAC limit.
Using this chart, law enforcement officials can determine whether or not to conduct a breathalyzer test in the field or at the police station. This BAC chart also helps police officers determine the reading of the breathalyzer. The chart provides the BAC content levels at each stage of inebriation from tipsy to heavily intoxicated.
A version of this BAC breathalyzer scale is used in all 50 states. Most states share the same criteria for being over the legal limit of alcohol consumption and at what point a person should submit to a breathalyzer test. Alternatively, this alcohol breathalyzer test scale is also used by defense attorneys to prove that their clients may not have been over the legal alcohol limit in the state.
When you submit to a BAC field sobriety test, you may wonder how the breathalyzer that you blow into actually works. How does the number that it provides to the officer conducting the test correlate with your BAC?
The number alone cannot tell what your BAC is or whether or not your BAC is necessarily over the legal limit. To make that determination, the officer needs to refer to the breathalyzer scale used by the state, which then will indicate if your BAC is low enough to be sent on your way or high enough to warrant your prompt arrest.
Most states allow people to continue driving even after consuming alcohol if their BAC levels are below 0.08. Even with that small amount of alcohol detected in their breath, they are still safe enough to drive themselves home or wherever else they need to go. However, when the breathalyzer test indicates a BAC higher than that number, it could signal to the police to place you under arrest. Your BAC is too high for you to safely operate a motor vehicle. You present a real danger to the public until you are sober.
The Purpose of a Breathalyzer Test Scale
Law enforcement relies on the breathalyzer test scale because it helps them determine what a person’s BAC level is without having the person provide a blood or urine sample. Some people are actually really good at holding their liquor and show few if any signs of alcohol inebriation. They may not have bloodshot eyes, foul breath, disheveled appearances, and other outward signs of having a high BAC.
However, they typically will always fail a breathalyzer test if they are pulled over by the police. This breathalyzer test scale lets police officers know how drunk a person is even if that individual is adept at hiding signs of alcohol inebriation.
The breathalyzer test scale also serves to protect the public from drivers who have had too much alcohol. The police have a sworn duty to protect people from motorists with high BAC levels. The breathalyzer test chart likewise protects people who cannot consume alcohol responsibly from themselves. The breathalyzer test is designed to stop those drivers from hurting or killing themselves in accidents involving alcohol.
Using a Breathalyzer Scale Chart On Your Own
You have every right as a private citizen to find out what your state’s legal BAC limit is and what kind of breathalyzer scale chart police officers use when field sobriety testing drivers. You can find one of these BAC charts online. You may even find the very one that your state requires law enforcement officers to use when testing for high BAC levels.
The typical breathalyzer scale chart will test people for alcohol consumption and BAC-based on criteria like how much alcohol they have consumed and how much they weigh. In fact, the breathalyzer scale chart is different for men than it is for women simply because men and women process alcohol differently. Men have more stomach enzymes that help process and eliminate alcohol, which helps them keep their BAC levels in check before driving.
Nonetheless, the breathalyzer test result gives a number that officers can then use to refer to the breathalyzer scale chart. Based on how old you are, how much you weigh, what gender you are, and how much alcohol you have consumed, the chart indicates if your BAC is over the legal limit to drive.
Lowering Your BAC Breathalyzer Levels before Driving
Once you realize how a breathalyzer works in determining your BAC, you may want to lower your BAC on your own before you drive yourself home after a night of drinking alcohol. It is reasonable for you to want to go out and have a few drinks of your favorite alcohol from time to time with friends. However, at the same time, you do not want to get caught driving with a BAC over the legal limit. Rather than risk failing a breathalyzer test, you may want to know how to keep your BAC breathalyzer levels below the legal limit before driving.
The old myth about drinking coffee actually does help keep your BAC low enough to pass a breathalyzer test. After one or two alcoholic drinks, you should drink a cup of coffee to help your body process the alcohol and eliminate it from your body. Because coffee consists primarily of water, it acts as a diuretic and helps your body pass the alcohol out of your system while lowering your BAC.
Likewise, you may want to eat a full meal while drinking alcohol. A meal consisting of carbohydrates and protein help your stomach break down not only the food but also the alcohol. Your body will then absorb it faster, preventing your BAC from reaching a legally critical level.
However, when you want to pass a breathalyzer test without eating food or drinking coffee, you simply have to wait it out while your body absorbs and gets rid of the alcohol on its own. Most BAC charts show that it takes one hour for the human body to process drink with alcohol in it. The alcohol amount used in the chart is a single 1.25 shot of alcohol, a 12-ounce glass or bottle of beer, or a 0.5-ounce glass of wine.