What Is Blood Alcohol Content and How Does It Affect Me?

alcohol-contentBlood alcohol content (BAC) is a measure of how much alcohol is in your blood. The higher your BAC, the more intoxicated you are. The more intoxicated you are, the less likely you are to drive safely.

Because of the dangers of drunk driving, driving with a certain BAC level is illegal. If you get caught driving drunk, you’re subject to jail time or other punishments. Read on for everything you need to know about BAC levels in Nevada.

What Are the Legal BAC Levels in Nevada?

In Nevada, your BAC level cannot be at 0.08% or higher if you’re 21 or older. If you’re under 21, it can’t be 0.02% or higher.

How many drinks does it take to reach an illegal level? That depends on your gender, your weight, and the alcohol content in the drink. In general, a drink of alcohol counts as five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. If you weigh 160 pounds, about one drink will bring your BAC to 0.02%. About four drinks will bring your BAC to 0.08%.

Keep in mind that this is a generalization. Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently, and different types of drinks contain different percentages of alcohol. If you’re planning to drive, it’s best to avoid drinking entirely.

If officers find that your BAC level meets or exceeds this level, they can arrest you for a DUI.

How Do Officers Find Out My BAC?

If a police officer pulls you over and suspects you are driving under the influence, he or she will ask you to take a sobriety test. This may include walking in a straight line or standing on one leg.

If the officer still suspects you are driving drunk, he or she will perform a chemical test such as a breath test. There are other types of BAC tests, including blood or urine tests. For obvious reasons, officers don’t usually conduct these on the side of the road.

Certain conditions can affect a breath test result. Tell the officer if you have dental bridges or caps, if you have sores in your mouth, if you recently threw up, or if you take medications for diabetes, asthma, or ulcers.

What If I Refuse to Take a Chemical Test?

When you got your driver’s license, you consented to take a chemical test when it was requested of you. If you refuse to take the test in Nevada, officers can suspend your license or issue a fine. They also have the right to force you to take the chemical test.

What Happens If I Get Arrested?

If you fail the chemical test, the officer has the right to arrest you. He or she will take you to the local jail or police station. The officer will also take your driver’s license and give you a temporary driving permit.

You can get released if police officers believe you’re not a threat or if you or someone else pays bail. Then, you’ll wait for your court date and sentencing.

If you’re found guilty of driving under the influence, the penalties in Nevada can include:

  • 2 days to 6 months in jail
  • 96 hours of community service
  • 90 days license suspension
  • $400 to $1000 in fines

If it’s your second or third offense, your punishments could become even harsher. At your third offense, you could spend up to 6 years in jail, get your license suspended for 3 years, and pay up to $5000.

There are other possible punishments as well. The judge may order that you attend classes about drinking and driving, attend counseling or a support group, or visit a rehab facility. He or she may require that you place an ignition interlock device on your car. You must breathe into the device before you can drive. If the device registers alcohol in your breath, your car will not start.

After getting a DUI, you may have to pay more for car insurance. You may even have to purchase a special kind of insurance called SR-22 insurance that is much more expensive than regular insurance. If you drive for work, you may have your driving privileges revoked.

What Should I Do to Avoid a DUI?

The best way to avoid a DUI is to avoid driving while intoxicated. If you plan to go out and drink, make sure you find a friend to be a designated driver or hire a taxi.

If you do get arrested for a DUI, you shouldn’t have to stay in jail until your court date. But what if you can’t afford the bail? Call All Star Bail Bonds. For a fee, we’ll cover the cost of your bail. As long as you show up to your court dates, you won’t owe us anything else. We are open 24/7 and can even arrange bail over the phone. Call us today!