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What Does Your BAC Result Mean for Your DWI Charge?The numbers from your blood alcohol concentration test hold a lot of weight in determining whether you will be charged with driving while intoxicated. The big number in almost every state is 0.08 percent BAC, which is the legal limit that determines whether you are intoxicated (Utah is the exception because it recently lowered its limit to 0.05 percent). However, there is more to BAC levels in Texas law than a simple 0.08 cut-off point. You can still be charged with DWI when your BAC is below the legal limit, and the level of the charge can increase depending on how much your BAC exceeds the limit.

Less than 0.08

The 0.08 percent BAC limit is based on the percentage of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream that it usually takes to impair their driving capabilities. Your alcohol tolerance may be different than that, depending on factors such as your:

  • Weight
  • Gender
  • Body chemistry

If your BAC is above the legal limit but you show no signs of impairment, you are still considered to be legally intoxicated. If your BAC is below the legal limit but you do show signs of impairment, a police officer can still arrest you on suspicion of DWI if they believe that your impairment reached the level of intoxication. Your advantage in this scenario is that the prosecution is basing its case solely on subjective evidence from the officer’s observations, which is easier to dispute than scientific blood test results.

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Posted on in DWI / DUI

Which Factors Contribute to a Higher BAC?A recent poll by the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute suggests that more Texans are in favor of stricter laws for driving while intoxicated than the national average. According to the results:

  • 60 percent of Texans support lowering the blood alcohol concentration limit to 0.05, as opposed to 54 percent of national respondents; and
  • 48 percent of Texans support lowering the BAC limit to zero, as opposed to 46 percent of national respondents.

Approving a zero-tolerance BAC law is unrealistic, but a 0.05 BAC limit has precedence. Utah is set to enact the country’s first 0.05 BAC limit at the end of the year, which may encourage other states to do the same. 

BAC Factors

How much alcohol does it take to reach a 0.05 BAC? That depends on several factors:

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