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Does your BAC level reflect how drunk you feel?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2021 | DUI Defense

Your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is a standard unit of measurement. Law enforcement uses it to determine if you have been drinking too much to be on the road. If you blow a BAC level of over 0.08 percent, you can face serious legal consequences. 

But is 0.08 percent BAC the level at which everyone feels too drunk to drive? Surprisingly, that is not the case. 

What affects your BAC?

Healthline takes a look at what it feels like to be drunk. This differs greatly from person to person, though. On top of that, many individual and unique factors can determine how your body reacts to alcohol. Some of the affecting factors are out of your control, like your body weight, age, health and gender. Other external factors may include medications you currently take. What you eat or drink before and during your alcohol consumption also impacts how your body reacts. 

What are the stages of being drunk

The end result is: everyone feels “drunk” at a different BAC level. Someone could feel completely sober but blow a 0.08 percent. Someone else might completely lose coordination and start slurring their speech as low as 0.05 percent. 

Thus, the guidelines for how “drunk” a person feels are just that: guidelines. Generally speaking, 0.01 to 0.05 percent is low level intoxication. Euphoria – otherwise known as being tipsy – happens anywhere from 0.03 to 0.12 percent. The stage at which a person is officially drunk happens between 0.09 and 0.25 percent. This is the excitement phase. 

As they are rough guidelines, you can never be sure how a drink will truly impact you and your BAC level. This is why many people refuse to drive after even one drink.