The level of alcohol in your bloodstream, or blood alcohol concentration (BAC), determines when you are operating while impaired (OWI) or driving drunk. Any driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher in Michigan is considered to be driving while intoxicated, or OWI. Yet two people drinking the same number of alcoholic drinks can have widely varying BAC readings. That’s important to recognize.
If you have been charged with OWI / DUI / DWI in Michigan, you want an experienced DWI defense attorney who understands how BAC is calculated and common errors in BAC computations.
Factors That Affect BAC Calculator Results
When you drink alcohol, it is absorbed from your stomach and intestines into your blood where it is broken down or metabolized. Blood alcohol tests make assumptions about your level of intoxication based on an average person’s absorption of alcohol under similar circumstances.
You can get a rough estimate of your BAC by using the BAC calculator on this website. The basic formula for the BAC calculator comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From this estimate, you can see how many drinks it would take to be charged under Michigan’s drunk driving law or new Super Drunk law. The BAC calculator is just a general guide, and it should not be used to determine whether it’s safe for you to drink and drive. If you have already been charged with OWI / DUI / DWI, you may notice that the BAC estimate from the BAC calculator is markedly different than the breathalyzer test numbers the police gave you.
Breathalyzer results are notoriously inaccurate and vulnerable to court challenge. A number of factors affect how quickly alcohol is metabolized, including your gender, weight, medications, what you ate, and your genetic makeup. For example, women typically have higher BACs than men after consuming the same amount of alcohol.
A skilled Michigan OWI lawyer understands the variables and knows how to analyze BAC test results and raise successful legal challenges to questionable results.