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Pennsylvania Blood Alcohol Content



In the State of Pennsylvania, you are considered to be driving under the influence (DUI) if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or more. Your BAC can be determined by three different types of chemical tests: blood, breath or urine. Of these three tests, a blood test is considered to be the most accurate, but like the other two, mistakes can occur that may affect your test results. If you have been arrested for drunk driving because your BAC was over the legal limit, you should immediately contact a qualified Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney for representation!

What is blood alcohol content?

This is simply the amount of alcohol found in your bloodstream. If your BAC was 0.08%, this means that .08 grams of alcohol were found in every 100 mL of your blood. Since alcohol metabolizes in your liver, blood alcohol content varies from person to person. This means that though you may have had less to drink then someone else, your blood alcohol content may actually be the same or higher.

For example, on average your liver can metabolize about one standard drink each hour. This may be a 12 oz. can of beer (4-4.5% alcohol), a 4 oz. glass of wine (15-20% alcohol) or one 1.5 oz. shot (30-50% alcohol). But depending on factors such as your weight, whether you are male or female (females almost always register a higher BAC) and if your stomach is empty, your blood alcohol content may register higher than you think. Also, the more body fat you have, the higher your BAC will be. This is because alcohol does not absorb in fatty tissue and is concentrated in a smaller body mass.

Obviously, the more you drink, the higher your blood alcohol content will be. But now that you know there are many factors that can determine your BAC, you shouldn’t rely on just how many drinks you’ve had in a certain number of hours. And remember, to be convicted of DUI in Pennsylvania, the prosecution does not have to prove that you were “drunk.” They only have to prove that your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit. So, yes, you can be charged for driving under the influence even when you are not intoxicated!

We have successfully represented a number of clients charged with DUI for possessing a BAC over the legal limit.

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