What is BAC and What Does it Mean?


Driving while intoxicated is a DWI violation in New Hampshire and all neighboring states if you have a blood alcohol concentration of.08% or above, or.04% if you’re a Class D driver, or.02 if you’re a kid. So, what does BAC stand for, and how does it work? Join us as we deconstruct the acronym’s meaning.

A man slumped over a bar, one hand holding an empty bottle.

What does BAC stand for, exactly?

The term BAC refers to the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. The majority of people confuse the C with content, which is only half of the problem. A 220lb person’s BAC will be significantly lower than a 125lb person’s BAC after consuming the same amount of alcohol. The amount of alcohol in a person’s blood is measured by their blood alcohol concentration.

What is the BAC scale like?

A person’s BAC level is the most common way to determine whether or not they are inebriated. Because the alcohol levels found in a person’s breath are a established match to a person’s blood content, this is usually done with a breathalyzer. To get a sense of scale, consider the following:

  • BAC .001–.029: Consumers reported very minor impairment and a “loose” floaty feeling
  • BAC .03–.059: Reduced focus and prone to distraction
  • BAC Lowered or impaired thinking, visual processing, and capacity to adjust to light glare in the.06–.099 range
  • BAC .1–.199: Reflexes, response time, gross motor skills, and speech are all severely impaired
  • BAC .2–.299: Severe motor skill loss, blackouts, and memory loss
  • BAC .3 or higher: Urgent medical attention is necessary; there is a serious risk of respiratory compromise or poisoned death.

What is the best way to determine your BAC?

There is no simple way to compute your BAC unless you have a breathalyzer with you. Most internet calculators don’t account for things like stress levels, food consumption, or the type of alcohol consumed (the "proof" of alcohol content). Most significantly, they can’t anticipate your health and wellness. These tools should be avoided since they can be deceiving.

Don’t drive if you have any qualms about driving or if you have felt altered in any way after even one drink.

Alternatives to Driving When Intoxicated:

  • Request a Lyft, taxi, or a ride from a friend or family member. Have a plan ahead of time and make sure you have someone to call.
  • Stay in your current location until you are certain you are sober. If in doubt, wait a little longer.
  • If you feel secure doing so, ask whether someone departing can give you a ride.
  • As you’re sobering up, don’t sit in the driver’s seat of your car. Whether or whether the car is running, you are regarded an operator once seated.

Do you have a DWI charge on your record? Contact Bernstein & Mello today for a consultation.

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