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What is blood alcohol concentration?

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2023 | Drunk Driving

When someone drinks, alcohol will enter their bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine. The percentage of alcohol in their bloodstream is referred to as blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  It’s expressed as the weight of ethanol in grams in 100 milliliters (mL) of blood. For instance, a BAC of 0.08% means one has 0.08 grams (80mg) of alcohol in 100 mL of blood.

Here is what you should know about BAC in Maryland:

What is the legal BAC limit for drivers in Maryland?

In Maryland, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or more. If you fail a breathalyzer test or refuse to submit to a chemical test, the police officer will confiscate your driver’s license and issue an order of suspension

Can BAC vary between people who drink the same amount of alcohol?

The amount of alcohol absorbed in the blood depends on several factors. These include gender, age, body weight and food consumption. 

Males have a high percentage of body water, which means most of the alcohol they consume is diluted. Hence, they can have a lower BAC level. Contrarily, women have a high percentage of body fat and less water. Thus, a significant amount of the alcohol a woman consumes is absorbed into the bloodstream.  

Further, during aging, muscle mass is replaced by fat tissue. The water content in fat is usually less than that in muscle tissue. Accordingly, an older person may have a higher BAC after drinking an equal number of drinks as a younger individual. Additionally, the less you weigh, the higher your BAC level can be.

Eating can also slow the absorption rate of alcohol. A person who eats before drinking will have a lower BAC level than someone who doesn’t.

If you fail a breathalyzer test, consider getting legal guidance to help you get the best possible outcome for your case.