You have likely heard the term “blood alcohol content” before. The police use this unit of measurement to determine if you are safe to drive on the road. Typically, the legal limit is 0.08 percent BAC level for adults of legal drinking age.
But it may surprise you to hear that BAC levels do not necessarily reflect how drunk you feel. This can cause some tricky situations once you hit the road.
Factors that affect BAC
Healthline looks at how it feels to be drunk. First, they point out that alcohol has a different impact on every individual. The type of alcohol itself can even alter how you react. On top of that, other factors can influence your inebriation that are out of your control. This can include your height, weight, age and gender. Physical health also plays a factor, along with any medications you may take. Things you eat before drinking can change your inebriation quality, too.
General range of tipsiness
With all these factors at play, it is no wonder that BAC levels are just a vague estimate. For example, anywhere from 0.03 to 0.12 percent is the “euphoria” stage, otherwise known as tipsiness. Almost half of this BAC range goes over the 0.08 percent legal limit.
But it is impossible to tell how drunk you will feel at any BAC level. Someone who blows a 0.03 percent on a breath analysis test may feel hammered. Meanwhile, someone else can feel entirely sober but blow a 0.12 percent.
Regardless of how you feel, you cannot predict what your BAC level is at any given time. This is part of what makes driving after any drink so risky.