How Much Booze Must You Drink To Overload a Breathalyzer?

meter showing alcohol percentagesWhen you’re out with friends, having a few drinks and having a good time, how do you know when to stop drinking? Most people who have drank alcohol before know how to set a limit on how much they consume, because if they don’t they’ll get sick or out of control.

Although a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is considered legally intoxicated and can result in double vision, impaired coordination, and slurred speech, some people don’t stop there. That’s why you routinely hear of repeat driving under the influence (DUI) offenders with blood alcohol concentrations of double or triple the legal limit.

But as a Colorado woman just realized, there is a limit to what your body can handle, even if you don’t have a personal threshold for when to stop drinking. A BAC of .4 is considered lethal, and hitting that limit can result in your death, yet she was driving and arrested for DUI with a BAC of .44. That’s 5 times the legal limit for driving in Colorado. When the arresting officer tried to perform the breathalyzer test, her BAC was so high it actually caused the device to malfunction.

No, she didn’t die from alcohol intoxication, but she was arrested and taken to jail for DUI. Although it’s not known if this was her first offense or if she was a repeat offender in Colorado, she could spend up to one year in jail, pay fines up to $1,500, hand over her driver’s license for a one year suspension, and if she’s a second or subsequent offender, will be required to install a car breathalyzer.

Drinking alcohol is a fun pastime for most Americans, but you should also know that like anything in life, there are always limits. In large quantities, alcohol can kill. Part of drinking responsibly is knowing when to stop, and you should never forget that drinking and driving is always a bad idea.

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