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Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyerBlood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is a measurement of the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. Under the “rule of thumb,” it takes your body one hour to metabolize one drink, but there are several factors that can alter this. In fact, you might be driving much sooner than you should without knowing it. Learn more about how the body metabolizes alcohol and its influence your BAC levels, as well as more on what it could mean if you are pulled over by an officer, with help from the following information.

Factors That Can Influence Your BAC

Every person metabolizes alcohol differently, and there are numerous factors that come into play. For instance, a person with cirrhosis of the liver will typically metabolize alcohol slower than someone with a healthy liver. Other factors that can influence your body’s alcohol metabolism include:

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blood test, Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerIn 2011, an Illinois man was driving down a street in Lisle when a couple ran in front of his car. The driver was unable to stop in time, and the vehicle hit the woman, who subsequently died from her injuries. The driver was charged with aggravated DUI, but a judge later dismissed those charges based on insufficient evidence and calling into question the accuracy of the state’s forensic crime labs.

Troubling Inconsistencies

According to reports, when law enforcement arrived at the scene, they tested the driver’s blood alcohol content level (BAC), which lab reports later said registered at 0.086. The legal BAC limit in Illinois is 0.08. In the course of the investigation by the defense, it was discovered that there had been an internal audit of the Illinois State Police Laboratories regarding blood alcohol test inaccuracies. The audit reported “75 percent of the whole blood controls analyzed exceeded two standard deviations,” which would produce inaccurate or invalid results.

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BAC, Arlington Heights drunk driving defense attorneyIn Illinois, just as in each of the other 49 states, a person who is driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated. However, there are cases where a person can be charged with drunk driving when they have a BAC of .05 to .08, if law enforcement produces additional evidence pointing to a driver’s impairment.

The BAC is determined by the ratio of alcohol to a person’s blood, and can also be estimated by testing samples of his or her breath. Alcohol is absorbed quickly, going from a person’s stomach, into the bloodstream, and then traveling up to the brain. The first traces of alcohol can usually be detected within 30 minutes to an hour after a person has had a drink.

Many people are under the impression that the type of alcohol they drink makes a difference – but that is a mistake. A typical drink contains about one-half ounce of alcohol. This is roughly the amount of alcohol which is found in a typical 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer, or a “shot” of distilled liquor.

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soda, alcohol, blood alcohol content, BAC, DUI, drinking and driving,

The results of a new study indicate that artificial sweeteners, like those found in diet sodas, increase people’s blood alcohol concentrations.

The study was conducted by Dr. Cecile A. Marczinski and lab assistant Amy L. Stamates at the Northern Kentucky University. The results were published in the medical journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. There were eight men and eight women, between the ages of 21 and 33 years old, that participated in the study. People who were infrequent drinkers were not included in the study. Also excluded were people with diabetes, psychiatric disorders, head trauma or any other injuries to the central nervous system, or anyone who has substance abuse problems. Participants came to three different sessions where they were given random drinks and then had their blood alcohol content measured. The drinks the study subjects were given were either vodka and Squirt soda, vodka and Diet Squirt soda, or vodka and a placebo drink. The drinks contained 1.97 ml/kg vodka mixed with 3.94 ml/kg of the soda or placebo. The vodka used in the drinks was 40 proof. The participants who consumed the drinks with the diet soda had significantly higher blood alcohol content than those that consumed the drinks made with regular soda. Levels measured averaged 18 percent higher. Those people also had greater impairment and slower response times. The conclusion of the study was that diet soda mixed with alcohol will result in higher blood alcohol contents than regular soda mixed with alcohol. The results of the study confirm findings from previous studies done about how diet sodas can affect blood alcohol levels. In 2011, a group of researchers surveyed people who were leaving bars. Participants of the survey shared what and how much they had drank, as well as letting researchers take breath samples. The study’s findings were that those that had consumed alcoholic beverages made with diet soda had higher blood alcohol readings. There are many things that can affect the results of a blood alcohol content test. If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, contact an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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