It’s been a hot topic in Utah. Starting in December 2018 the state will lower the maximum blood alcohol limit for drivers to 0.05 percent from the current legal threshold of 0.08 percent. This gives Utah the strictest drunk driving law in the nation. Regardless of how individuals feel about the impending change, it’s essential for the Utah public to understand what that 0.05 percent really means.

What Affects Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

There are three very important factors to consider when determining BAC. They are:

  1. The amount of alcohol a person consumes.
  2. A person’s gender.
  3. A person’s weight.

The breakdown of how those three factors function in BAC is straightforward.

Amount of Alcohol

Obviously, the more alcohol a person drinks, the higher their BAC. However, not all alcoholic drinks are created equally when it comes to alcohol content. When calculating BAC, the amount of alcohol consumed is usually measured in “drinks”. The following infographic demonstrates what constitutes “drink.”

One drink of alcohol means

A Person’s Gender

Gender is the second factor in determining a person’s BAC. For example, if we compare a man who weighs 120 lbs. and a woman who also weighs 120 lbs. after two drinks their respective BAC levels will look like this:

Blood alcohol content in men and women

A Person’s Weight

The third factor in determining a person’s blood alcohol content is the person’s weight. The heavier the person, the slower their BAC goes up. The diagram represents people who’ve had 2 drinks:

Men BAC Women BAC
120 lbs. 0.06 100 lbs. 0.09
160 lbs. 0.05 120 lbs. 0.08
200 lbs. 0.04 140 lbs. 0.07
220 lbs. 0.03 180 lbs. 0.05

Don’t Drink and Drive

The reality is that after even a couple drinks many people are over the 0.05% BAC limit to drive in Utah. Those who have consumed alcohol simply cannot risk it. If a person is inebriated they shouldn’t get behind the wheel.

If you’ve been injured in an accident and you suspect the at-fault driver to have been under the influence of alcohol, an experienced attorney from the offices of Craig Swapp & Associates will work with you to obtain a fair and complete settlement for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Give us a call today at 800-404-9000 for a free consultation.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp