Many Different Factors Can Impact a Driver’s Blood Alcohol Content Level
In South Carolina, it is illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08, states the Governors Highway Safety Association. However, because a driver’s BAC level can be affected by many different factors, some drivers may unintentionally get behind the wheel of a car with a BAC level above this legal limit.
Contrary to popular belief, BAC level is not affected by the type of alcohol consumed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the typical alcoholic beverage contains about half an ounce of alcohol, which is the same amount in one 12-ounce beer, one five-ounce glass of wine, and one shot of distilled spirits. Some of the factors that can impact a person’s BAC level include:
- Gender – men typically have less body fat per pound than women. Because alcohol does not travel into fat cells as easily as other cells, more alcohol remains in the blood of women.
- Weight – the more a person weighs, the more water is present in his or her body. As a result, a person who weighs less than another person will reach a higher BAC level within the same period of time.
- The amount of food in the stomach – food within the stomach can slow how quickly alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream.
The rate of consumption also has an impact on how quickly a person’s BAC level rises. When alcohol is consumed quickly, a person will reach a higher BAC level than if he or she consumed the alcohol over a longer time period.
DUI Penalties in South Carolina
If a person operates a vehicle with a BAC level above the legal limit of 0.08, he or she may face certain legal and financial penalties. However, the consequences a driver faces after drinking and driving depend on the number of prior DUI offenses on his or her record.
For example, after driving impaired for the first time, a driver may have to spend between 48 hours and 90 days in jail, states the South Carolina Legislature. He or she may also have to pay a fine of $400 to $1,000. Comparatively, a driver arrested for intoxicated driving for the third time may have to spend up to five years in jail and may also have to pay a fine that does not exceed $10,000.
Drivers who receive a DUI may be concerned about how a potential conviction could affect their daily life. If you were recently arrested for drinking and driving, let our South Carolina lawyers at Nosal & Jeter, LLP assist you with any impending legal proceedings.