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Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > DUI > How Does Body Weight Affect Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?

How Does Body Weight Affect Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?


It is important to understand how alcohol affects you and your BAC. It’s also important to understand how your BAC is related to DUI charges. Your BAC is the concentration of alcohol in your blood. In Georgia, if you are over the age of 21, you can be charged with a DUI per se for having a BAC of .08 or higher. However, in some situations in Georgia, you can be charged with DUI under the influence with a BAC lower than .08, provided officers can cite evidence that your driving was impaired and that you were under the influence of alcohol or another substance that caused impairment.  The standard in Georgia is whether, as a result of alcohol or drug consumption, you are considered less safe to drive.  This evidence can be circumstantial, such as swerving driving, which suggests the driver is under the influence and impaired, or the smell of marijuana or alcohol. Impairment can also be shown by a driver’s performance on roadside Field Sobriety Tests.  In any case, a BAC lower than .08 is not always an effective way of avoiding a DUI, particularly if your driving appeared to be otherwise impaired or you failed field sobriety tests. It’s important to avoid any appearance of intoxication, so it’s also important to understand your body and how alcohol affects it.

BAC and Body Weight

Generally, the less you weigh, the more alcohol will affect you. Someone who is tall and heavy can consume far more alcohol while maintaining a .08 or lower BAC than someone who is smaller and weighs less. For this reason, tuning into your own personal anatomy is critical. It’s also true that the more fat a person’s body composition contains, the more susceptible they will be to intoxication. This means that if there are two people who weigh the same but one has a higher percentage of body fat and the other a higher percentage of lean muscle tissue, the person with the higher percentage of body fat would be likely to have a higher BAC if the same amount of alcohol was consumed under the same conditions. It is very important for this reason not to compare yourself to others when drinking or try to keep pace with anyone else.

How a Lawyer Can Help

A lawyer can review the specific facts and circumstances of your case in order to determine the best possible outcome and a strategy for working toward it. Depending on your situation, you may have a basis on which to challenge your BAC reading, the breathalyzer test, or other aspects of your charges or the evidence against you. The sooner you are able to retain a lawyer, the better your chances of getting the charges against you dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. In some cases, the initial police stop leading to your arrest may have been illegal if it was conducted without probable cause. Additionally, the arrest may not have been supported by probable cause. A lawyer will know to assess your case for these possibilities and to vigorously pursue any chances at dismissal.

Schedule a Consultation with Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers

If you have been charged with DUI in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, or the greater Georgia area, Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers are ready to help. Contact our experienced DeKalb County DUI attorneys today and schedule a free consultation.

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