For many DUI-related arrests in Las Vegas, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels play a key role. BAC levels determine how much alcohol is currently in a person’s bloodstream; the higher the BAC, the greater the effect of alcohol has on a person. High BAC levels can lead to such effects as disorientation, slurred speech, shifty eye movement, poor physical coordination and a slowing of cognitive function and comprehension. A person’s BAC levels are often determined via breathalyzer or through blood and urine samples.
In most cases, people can drink and still avoid going over the prescribed BAC by controlling their alcohol intake prior to driving. However, in some cases even minimal alcohol intake can still result into a person going above the recommended BAC levels. A number of factors can affect BAC levels for certain people, including:
- Body Type: BAC levels are inversely proportional to a person’s weight; heavier people tend to have lower BAC levels even when sharing the same amount of alcohol as lighter people.
- Alcohol Content: people may share the same amount of drinks, but one drink may have more alcohol than another.
- Age: younger people may be more prone to early intoxication, although this is not always the case.
- Gender: women are more prone to higher BAC levels due to physiological differences.
- Style and amount of consumption: drinking too much too fast can lead to immediate intoxication compared to consuming plenty but taking things slowly.
- Food: consuming food alongside alcohol can help obstruct some alcohol from entering the bloodstream.
- Altitude: still under independent testing, it is said that imbibing alcohol at higher altitudes puts a person at greater risk of intoxication.
- Medication: mixing alcohol with certain anti-depressants and pain relievers can increase BAC and have dire long-term consequences.
- Emotional state: distressed people can have the alcohol transfer into their muscles instead of the bloodstream; this prevents them from getting drunk faster, but it also leads to increased alcohol consumption.