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Common Misconceptions About Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Posted on June 2, 2023 in BAC

Blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is a commonly used marker to determine if a driver is operating under the influence. It refers to the percent of alcohol present in a person’s bloodstream, typically measured using a breathalyzer test. In Arizona and most states, the legal driving limit is a BAC of 0.08 percent. Learn a few common misconceptions about BAC to better protect yourself and your rights during a driving under the influence (DUI) case.

You Can Reduce Your BAC With Quick Tricks

Your BAC is not something that you can quickly change. It takes time to sober up. Alcohol in your system must be metabolized by your body to drop your blood alcohol concentration. Some quick tips and tricks that have been touted as being able to fool a breathalyzer test or reduce BAC include: 

  • Eating food
  • Drinking coffee or tea
  • Drinking energy drinks
  • Chewing gum or mints
  • Eating an onion
  • Using mouthwash
  • Burping while taking the test
  • Holding your breath
  • Sucking on pennies
  • Hyperventilating
  • Vigorous exercise

Be assured that none of these tricks have been proven to be effective at reducing your BAC or changing your breathalyzer results during a traffic stop. There is no secret way to pass a breathalyzer test if you’ve been drinking alcohol. The only thing that can lower your BAC level is time.

You Can Only Get a DUI With a BAC at or Above 0.08

In Arizona, the legal BAC limit may be 0.08 percent, but you can still be arrested for driving under the influence with a lower BAC level. For instance, Arizona is a Zero Tolerance state for underage drinkers. This means if you are under the age of 21 and are caught with any discernible BAC, you can get arrested for DUI. The legal BAC is also cut in half for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles; in this case, it is 0.04 percent.

Any type or level of impairment could result in a DUI arrest in Arizona. Even if you breathe a BAC that is below the legal limit, the police can arrest you if you appear impaired to the slightest degree. You could also get a DUI with no measurable BAC if an officer believes you to be under the influence of drugs. This includes prescription medications if you do not have a valid prescription.

You Can Still Drive After Only Two Drinks

No amount of alcohol consumption is considered safe if you plan on driving. Having “just two drinks” or “one drink per hour” does not guarantee you are safe from being arrested for driving under the influence in Arizona. Even if you have a higher alcohol tolerance, your BAC level will register the same. Despite feeling sober enough to drive, your BAC will tell a different story – potentially resulting in a drunk driving arrest.

You Can Only Get a DUI if You Are Behind the Wheel

In Arizona, the state’s drunk driving law defines this offense as to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle in an impaired or intoxicated state. This means you could be arrested for a DUI even if you weren’t behind the wheel – and even if your vehicle was parked and shut off. If it is feasible for you to have been in control of the car within two hours of blowing an illegal BAC, you could face DUI charges. Rather than napping in your car to sleep off the alcohol, spend the night where you were drinking or call a sober ride home.

If you get arrested for a DUI in Arizona, contact the attorneys at Rosenstein Law Group right away for assistance from an experienced DUI defense attorney.

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