Intoxication and the Legal Limit

  • Law
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  • May 13, 2016

Intoxication and the Legal Limit

Being charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Austin, TX can lead to some of the toughest penalties in the country, both financial and otherwise. Despite such a stringent disciplinary system and the inclusion of alcohol and drunk driving education in schools, many Austin drivers are still unaware of important facts relating to DWI law and enforcement, holding misconceptions which could cause them to make mistakes leading to arrest, conviction, and serious consequences.

There is a surprising amount of confusion surrounding the so-called “legal limit” of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), or the amount of alcohol present in a person’s bloodstream. Most people know that driving with a BAC over .08 is illegal and can result in an arrest for DWI in Austin.

What many people forget, however, is that BAC is neither a good measurement of a person’s level of impairment nor strongly related to a certain type or amount of alcohol. Did you know, for example, that you can be arrested and convicted for DWI even if your BAC test results are below the legal limit? Although the prosecution’s case will arguably be more difficult, proof that you were sufficiently impaired by alcohol or drugs – regardless of the actual amount of alcohol in your system – can be enough to get a guilty verdict.

Furthermore, an individual’s BAC is not solely dependent on the amount or type of alcohol he or she consumes. Body mass, unique biological factors, and the passage of time all affect how much alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, i.e., how much alcohol is actually affecting that individual.

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