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Blood alcohol levels decrease at a rate of 0.015% per hour 

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | DUI

There are cases in which people get pulled over for drunk driving, and they’re shocked. Maybe they just got up for the day. Perhaps they haven’t had a drink in hours. They definitely didn’t think they were over any sort of legal limit.

But that’s not what the breath test says. It claims that they still do have a high amount of alcohol in their system. How could this have happened?

It just takes longer than people think

The reason that this occurs is that alcohol metabolization takes longer than many people realize. The actual rate of decrease, when looking at your blood alcohol concentration, is just around 0.015% per hour. It doesn’t matter if you eat a meal or drink coffee or go to sleep. That is simply the rate at which your body can lower the amount of alcohol in your system.

In one exercise, it was pointed out just how long this means your intoxication could last. If someone was out late with their friends and went to bed at 2 AM with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.200%, they would feel disoriented and intoxicated. If they then slept until 8 AM and got up for school or work, they may assume that they were now sober. But their blood alcohol level would still be about 0.110%, meaning they’d still be over the limit.

Similar problems can occur when someone decides to stop drinking late in the evening. They may do this so that they can leave the bar in an hour and be safe to drive, but an hour may not be nearly long enough for their BAC to drop.

If you are facing DUI charges, you need to know about all of your defense options.