You Need to Watch Your BAC

colorado bac calculator

During a night out with your friends, you’re probably using less than scientific words like “tipsy,” “buzzed,” or “plastered.” 

Maybe you think “tipsy” means safe to drive and “plastered” means too risky.

Whatever you want to call it, the police have some different terms for drunk driving, phrases like “BAC,” “DUI,” and “DWAI.” 

Let’s remove the mysticism surrounding this legal area and give tips on being on the right side of the law in case you are ever pulled over after a night out. 

However, if these tips don’t work for you, don’t be afraid to contact a DUI Defense attorney at Right Law Group to represent you. We are experienced and know what to anticipate.


A person’s blood alcohol content (BAC), sometimes referred to as blood ethanol concentration, blood alcohol concentration, or blood alcohol level, is the amount of alcohol in their blood. Without getting too preachy, if you’ve been drinking, don’t drive. Many of us are unaware of the risks—and legal repercussions of driving after small amounts of alcohol consumption. 

We want to believe that we have the best tolerance, but courage and concentrating hard not to slur your speech won’t fool a breathalizer test into reflecting that your BAC is under the legal limit. 

What is the legal limit, you may ask?

Legal Limit for BAC in Colorado

In Colorado, there is a difference in the legal limit for DUI (Driving Under The Influence) and DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired). 

Know these numbers like the back of your hand if you are pulled over and haven’t had a chance to contact us:

  • The limit for blood alcohol concentration in DUI cases is 0.08%
  • DWAI cases, however, have a 0.05% limitation
  • The legal limit for driving while intoxicated under the age of 21 is 0.02%
  • A commercial driver’s license is also suspended for BAC levels of 0.04%

A DWAI Charge in Colorado

This charge doesn’t get as much press as a DUI. But it’s easier to be charged with a DWAI than a DUI, so you should familiarize yourself with it. A DWAI charge is a less serious drunk driving charge than a DUI charge in Colorado since it is typically reserved for situations where the defendant’s blood alcohol content is less than 0.08% but above 0.05%. Remember that while a first offense of DWAI does not result in an immediate license suspension, the punishment for a second conviction will be more severe than the first.

How Your BAC is Calculated

Having an easy-to-understand Colorado BAC calculator on deck for these nights out is essential. However, calculating your BAC is quite the science. The most straightforward math can seem like calculus if you are too far gone. Multiple factors have to be considered. The quantity of alcohol required to raise blood alcohol concentration to unsafe levels closely relates to a person’s body weight. Comparatively, it takes less alcohol to get a smaller person legally drunk than it will make a larger person. 

Additionally, this is one area where men and women were not created equal. A woman is more likely to experience a higher BAC than a man of the same weight after drinking the same number of drinks. 

So, in light of all of this, this BAC chart is a good blood alcohol calculator tool.

The volume of alcohol in your blood is expressed as milligrams (mg) of alcohol per 100 milliliters (ml) of blood to determine BAC. Depending on the BAC, alcohol-related impairment levels exist. At concentrations between 0.00 and 0.029%, small results that can only be seen with specialized tests are present. At concentrations above 0.50%, substantial risks of death are present, including issues with concentration, reflexes, motor control, and more.

Time to Sober Up

So you have used a Colorado BAC calculator and don’t think you’re fit to drive. Good choice. 

How do you sober up? 

Here’s some more science. The human body metabolizes alcohol at a rate of 0.016 percent per hour. There is no actual technique to reduce BAC quicker than your body can function. All you can do is wait for your liver to remove the alcohol from your system. This table is an excellent point of reference when determining how long you may need to sober up.

Can I Speed This Up by Eating?

Alcohol is metabolized slightly more quickly by people who eat before drinking, as a full stomach allows for a higher rate of alcohol metabolism than an empty one. However, eating will not affect your BAC level after a certain point. Additionally, the speed of alcohol metabolism only slightly increases when a person is full. This indicates that you still need to give your body enough time to process the alcohol in your system.

Your One-Stop Colorado Criminal Defense Attorneys

We have developed criminal defense as one of our niche areas. 

While you’re here, check out the other services we offer:

Highly-Rated Colorado DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested, it is best to seek representation sooner rather than later. You can find our law firm at 1745 Shea Center Dr., Suite 400, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129. We offer free consultations. Contact us for more information.

Author Bio

alexis austin

Alexis Austin is the CEO and Managing Partner of Right Law Group, a criminal defense law firm she founded in 2018, with convenient locations in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock and Highlands Ranch. With almost a decade of experience in criminal defense, she has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including DUIs, misdemeanors, felonies, domestic violence, and other criminal charges.

Alexis received her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver — Sturm College of Law and is a member of the Colorado Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named among the “Top 40 Under 40” in 2018 by The National Trial Lawyers and featured in Authority Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” series.

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