DUI: What is a BAC?

Lady Justice holding scales

Blood alcohol content, or “BAC” for short, is the percentage of alcohol in a person’s blood at a particular time. Why is this important? Your BAC can be the most important evidence police gather in a Driving Under the Influence Case, and you can be charged with different crimes depending on your BAC level.

In Arizona, there are four categories of misdemeanor charges of Driving Under the Influence that deal with alcohol. The first, Driving Under the Influence to the Slightest Degree, is a possible charge even if your BAC is under .08, commonly known as the “legal limit.” Police can charge you with this offense if they believe you are under the influence of alcohol but cannot actually measure your BAC through an adequate sample. You can be charged with the other three misdemeanor DUI charges--DUI .08 or More, Extreme DUI, and Super Extreme DUI—depending on your BAC level.

How is BAC measured? Police use several different devices to measure your BAC. The first is the notorious Intoxilyer, or “breathalyzer.” The other method is through a blood draw, which is later analyzed in a laboratory. It is important to note that alcohol eliminates—in other words, is removed from your body—at a fixed rate, and nothing except the passage of time will lower your BAC. This blog is only educational in purpose and is not advice on your case. If you have any questions regarding your case, you should talk to your attorney or schedule a consultation with me at Signature Law Group.

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