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How is the legal BAC determined?

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2019 | DUI

When law enforcement stops you on the presumption of driving under the influence, the officer will try to determine whether you are inebriated through various tests. Some of these may be physical tests, such as walking in a straight line. Other tests may include checking your blood alcohol concentration level. The most commonly used test in Texas is a breathalyzer, which tests the alcohol content on your breath. While this is not foolproof, it is an effective way for an officer to determine if you could be over the .08 legal BAC level. You may wonder how officials determined .08 to be the level at which you are driving under the influence.

According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, the .08 BAC legal limit is fairly standard in the United States. The first standard BAC was .15. That was in 1938, but the .08 standard has been in place for many years now thanks to studies and research.

This BAC is set based on how alcohol affects a person’s ability to drive. Testing was done to see the effects on alcohol in different situations with different drivers. It lead to the discovery that at a level of .08 even the best drivers show signs on impairment due to alcohol.

There were also groups, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, that helped to push for the change to the .08 BAC. By 2004, all states had this set as the limit. This information is for education only and is not legal advice.