A criminal charge involving the intoxicated operation of a vehicle can lead to serious criminal penalties that may impact the rest of your life. It is important that you not underestimate what you are up against and that you seek the most beneficial outcome to your criminal case. As you consider your defense options, one of the most important things you can do is to understand all elements of the case against you.
A critical factor of any DWI case is alcohol content (AC). This is a system for measuring the amount of alcohol in one’s system, and the legal limit is .08%. If law enforcement pulls you over and your AC measures .08% or higher, you will likely face arrest for impaired driving. There are several factors that can impact AC levels and the effect that alcohol can have on an individual.
What is AC and what affects it?
The amount of alcohol that you have in your system is determined by AC. The higher a person’s AC, the more intoxicated that person will likely be. For most people, one drink will raise AC levels by approximately .02%, but each person metabolizes alcohol differently. The average rate of metabolization of alcohol is approximately .015% per hour, which means that the body typically can burn off alcohol at a rate of one drink every 75 minutes or so. The factors that can impact AC include:
- The number of drinks consumed
- The speed at which one consumes alcoholic beverages
- The person’s weight, muscle mass and body fat
- A person’s gender
There are also other factors that can affect the impact of alcohol on a person, including certain medications, pregnancy, amount of carbonation in a drink, food consumption and the amount of time a person has been drinking. It is possible that a person could have a AC over the legal limit and not feel intoxicated.
Your defense options
When you understand the case against you, you will be in a better position from which you can defend your interests as a Minnesota driver facing a DWI. An assessment of your case allows you to understand how AC affected the criminal case brought by the prosecution and what you can do to defend your future interests.