Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures how much alcohol is in the body. This measurement is used to determine how intoxicated or drunk someone is. If you choose to drink, the safest option is to know how much alcohol your drink contains and limit the amount of alcohol you are consuming within a given time frame.
While consequences can occur after any amount of alcohol consumption, keeping your BAC at or below 0.055 will minimize the negative aspects of alcohol use such as impaired judgement, while maximizing the beneficial aspects. In New York, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. New York has a zero-tolerance law for motorists under the age of 21 who drink and drive. A driver under the age of 21 can be cited for as little as 0.02 percent BAC. For those 21 or older, driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher is illegal.
Beyond .05 BAC is when a person will experience more unpleasant and usually unwanted effects of alcohol use including impaired judgment, loss of coordination, slurring speech, blackouts, vomiting or alcohol overdose.
What affects BAC?
An individual’s own biology determines how their body processes alcohol. Weight, body fat percentage, and metabolism all affect how alcohol affects a body. While those factors can’t be controlled, there are ways to control your BAC.
The number of standard drinks consumed and how much time is between drinks are the two main ways to influence BAC. Other things that might change how intoxicated someone feels are tolerance, taking medication, using other drugs, hydration, and eating before starting to consume alcohol.
Consider using one of the apps listed below to keep track of your drinks and estimate your BAC.