When BAC turns into DUI

You decided to take a mini road trip with a few friends to go to a Tigers game, and one beer turns into a few more. You feel OK enough to drive back to Lansing, but then blue and red flashing lights are behind you. You get out of your car, and there’s a decision you need to make. In Michigan, you can refuse to take a roadside preliminary breath test (PBT). If you refuse, it is a civil infraction and a fine. Instead, you agree to take the PBT. You blow a .08, but you feel perfectly fine. However, you are then arrested and charged with a DUI.

Michigan’s OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) law considers an individual legally impaired if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or above. BAC measures the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream, but BAC can vary depending on a list of factors.

Body type

Say you and your friend Big Jim drink the same amount at the Tigers game. Why is his BAC level much lower than yours? BAC is affected by height and weight. Simply put, the less you weigh, the more likely the same amount of drinks that you and Big Jim had will affect you more than Big Jim. 


Biological sex can also affect BAC. Women typically have a higher BAC than men because BAC is affected by your percentage of body fat, weight, and height. Additionally, the enzyme dehydrogenase that absorbs alcohol is less prevalent in women than it is in men, resulting in high BAC numbers for women.

Food intake

Did you skip the peanuts and Cracker Jacks at the Tigers game? Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach will make you drunker faster, resulting in a higher BAC. If you plan on drinking alcohol, it’s always best to eat while doing so.

The Great Lakes State, like many other states, has strict DUI laws. It doesn’t matter if this is your first DUI or not. Coontz Law is here to represent you. If you’re charged with DUI, you need a lawyer who will understand the unique circumstances surrounding your case. Give our firm a call at (517) 940-8004 to schedule a consultation.