Many people believe that they can tell their blood alcohol content (BAC) level just based on how drunk they feel.
However, it is actually much harder to gauge BAC levels based on feeling than a person may think.
What do BAC levels measure?
Cleveland Clinic discusses BAC levels and how they correspond to feeling. What exactly do BAC levels measure? Scientific blood and breath analysis tests exist that measure BAC levels. They directly check the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood via direct blood work or via the breath.
In turn, they can use this information to determine how much alcohol a person has consumed, and whether or not they are over the legal limit.
Why does drunkenness not relate to BAC?
People react to alcohol in different ways. Some people may not feel intoxicated at all when in reality, they actually have a very high BAC level. On the other hand, some people may feel or act incredibly intoxicated. Despite that, they have a BAC level lower than 0.08 percent.
In short, the use of BAC levels to determine a driver’s safety behind the wheel is just one tool that officers use to tell whether a person should or should not be on the road.
While most states have a limit of 0.08 percent for serious penalties, some states are no tolerance, meaning any percentage of alcohol could net penalties. For these reasons and others, it is important for drivers to remain off the road after having a drink, even if they do not feel affected.