Your blood alcohol content (BAC) level serves as a useful tool for law enforcement. Officers across the board use BAC levels to determine whether a driver is too intoxicated to be on the road. BAC levels often play a role in the arrest of drivers suspected of DWI.
But just how well does your BAC level reflect your intoxication? It is a useful tool, but is it really that accurate?
Euphoria and excitement stages
Healthline discusses how it feels to be intoxicated. In particular, they talk about the general categories of intoxication that BAC levels fall under. For example, there is the euphoria phase, also known as tipsy. This generally happens between 0.03 and 0.12 percent BAC. As you can see, the range is large. On top of that, you already go well above the legal limit of 0.08 percent just by being tipsy.
The next stage is excitement, also known as drunk. This covers BAC levels of 0.09 to 0.25 percent. Again, this is well over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. In other words, if you feel drunk, you are likely already over the limit.
What factors affect alcohol absorption
But many things can affect how alcohol impacts your body. This includes many factors outside of your control, like your age, height, weight and gender. It can also include medications you are on, your tolerance and what type of alcohol you consume. In other words, getting drunk is not an exact science. Because of that, it is almost impossible to tell whether or not you are drunk at any given time.
Thus, it is also impossible to tell if your BAC is over the legal limit. This is why experts suggest not getting behind the wheel after even one drink.