Drinking and driving can impact your life for years to come. Even if you think you’re ready to drive, the police may only rely on chemical tests for an answer.
A drunk driving charge can mean losing your license, paying thousands in fines and jail time. While repeat offenders can pay the highest costs, first-timers could be facing large stakes if they sail over the legal limit.
How impaired you are depends on a number of important factors. Just because you don’t feel different, doesn’t mean you’ll pass a sobriety screening on the side of the road. Blood alcohol content (BAC) can vary widely from one person to another, depending on the circumstances:
- The amount of alcohol you drank
- The length of time you’ve been drinking
- What food is in your stomach
- Your physical composition
These specifics can determine how much alcohol is in your system, and how long it will be until your body processes it. A 150-pound male can require an hour to work through one beverage. This means a few drinks could put you beyond the limits of driving for a while.
And those limits can be strict. New York has different tiers for violations, and more severe counts can mean harsher punishments. The amount of alcohol in your blood can play a large role in changing the charge. Trouble can begin for commercial operators at a .04 BAC, while a .05 to .07 BAC can mean you were driving while impaired. Driving while intoxicated generally starts at a .08 BAC, and charges take a big jump in severity when you register a .18 BAC or higher.
Facing a drinking and driving charge is no small feat. When the police administer tests and come back with hard numbers to show intoxication, you may have your work cut out. Make sure you know what you’re up against, and you could see your way through to some clear judgment.