Are BAC Calculators Reliable?

Posted on 11-30-2015 by
Tags: Trending News & Topics

There are various blood alcohol concentrations calculators available that are designed to give someone an estimate of their BAC based on a number of factors. These BAC calculators are easy to use and generally only require the test taker to enter his or her gender, weight, number and types of drinks consumed and how long he or she has been drinking. Based on the data, the calculator will provide an estimate of the individual’s blood alcohol concentration. By using one of these calculators, a person may be able to determine whether or not he or she has a BAC that is over 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit for driving in California.

However, anyone using a BAC calculator should recognize that the calculator may not take a number of relevant factors into account. A number of factors that may affect an individual’s blood alcohol concentration are not considered by BAC calculators and charts and may actually result in a higher BAC reading than expected. It is never a good idea to rely solely on a BAC calculator when making a decision regarding whether or not it is safe to drive.

One of the critical factors that can affect a person’s BAC is the serving size of alcohol consumed. Most BAC calculators use predetermined serving sizes; such as twelve ounces for a beer (with a 4.5 percent alcohol content), four ounces for a glass of wine that has a 15 percent alcohol content and 1.5 ounces for a shot with a 40 percent alcohol content. Drinks sizes and potency can vary considerably. A person who drinks two or three large mugs of beer will be in a different position that someone who only consumes 12 ounce cans, however a BAC calculator may treat them the same. In addition, if someone is consuming high alcohol content drinks, his or her BAC would be much higher than a BAC calculator may reveal.

Food consumption will also affect a person’s BAC. Most BAC calculators do not account for the amount or type of food consumed by the test taker. A person’s blood alcohol concentration will rise more rapidly when a person drinks on an empty stomach, because there is no food to slow the alcohol absorption. In addition, high fat foods will also slow alcohol absorption rates, which ultimately affect a person’s BAC.

BAC calculators rely on a formula that uses the amount of water in the average person’s body and also the average person’s metabolism rates. The amount of water in one’s body and a person’s metabolism will have a significant impact on how quickly he or she absorbs and eliminates alcohol. In addition, the person may suffer from medical conditions which can also affect his or her BAC readings. These unique factors are not accounted for in BAC calculators and may ultimately throw off the results of a test. While these BAC calculators can be helpful, it is never a good idea to rely on them when deciding whether or not to drive. It is important to remember that even drivers who are under 0.08 percent BAC can still be charged with driving under the influence as a result of their driving conduct.

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