In 2017, 5,125 car crashes involved alcohol, resulting in 350 deaths in the state of Florida. There is more awareness than ever about the dangers of drinking and driving, so people are increasingly curious to learn how much they can drink before reaching the legal limit. There are now a number of free online BAC calculators to choose from that claim to estimate your BAC based on a number of factors. The companies that operate these calculators seem to be doing the right thing, but can you rely on them to decide whether you’re OK to drive after a night out?
What’s the deal with online BAC calculators?
If you do a search for “online bac calculator” in Google, you can find dozens of pages worth of results. All these websites feature the same basic tool: a BAC test that takes several bits of data to return an estimate for how much alcohol is in your blood. Those who don’t own a portable breathalyzer test might think to use one of these calculators before driving back home after a party or social event to avoid a DUI arrest. These calculators are usually free to use and take mere seconds to work.
Typically, you must enter the following information to produce a BAC estimate:
- Your sex
- Your weight
- How many drinks you had and/or
- How many ounces you drank
- The alcohol content of what you drank
- How many hours you were drinking
Organizations with an interest in reducing the number of drunk driving incidents and fatalities are usually behind these accessible calculators. These organizations may include health organizations like hospitals, alcohol research centers, non-profits, rehabilitation centers, and even companies that sell breathalyzers.
Do online BAC calculators work?
While their intentions are noble, the fact is that if you want to avoid attracting police attention or increasing your odds of crashing, you shouldn’t trust an online program to read your BAC.
Many online BAC calculators warn you to use discretion when using them. They usually include a disclaimer stating that their results may not be accurate. One such disclaimer from Craftbeer.com appears at the bottom of the page and reads as follows:
“This calculator is not a legal definition or indicator of blood alcohol content. It is intended to be used as an approximate guideline to inform beer drinkers of the estimated potential blood alcohol content range that one might experience after responsibly enjoying the flavor and diversity of beer. It is not intended to estimate the affect [sic] of other alcoholic beverages, particularly mixed drinks/cocktails because of the uncertainty in determining an accurate alcohol content of mixed drinks with added liquor/distilled spirits.”
That’s because you cannot hold them liable for giving you an incorrect BAC. Alcohol affects people in various ways, and people’s bodies all metabolize it differently. So, even if you have a single drink, you shouldn’t use the BAC reading from an online calculator to decide whether or not to drive. The best course of action is to hand the keys to someone else or summon a rideshare.
Competent DUI Defense in West Palm Beach
Sometimes, online BAC calculators link to useful information about drinking and driving legislation, tips for drinking responsibly, and myths about alcohol use. Some may even refer you to legal counsel. If you’re facing a DUI or other alcohol charge in West Palm Beach, you’ve come to the right place.
The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel has provided competent legal defense for people facing alcohol charges in Palm Beach and surrounding counties for more than 25 years. Attorney Brian P. Gabriel has vast expertise in the functions of BAC tests, and extensive knowledge on issues pertaining to the Intoxilyzer 8000, Florida’s only breath test machine approved for evidentiary use. When you discuss your case with Brian, he can dive into the facts and find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you. In some cases, it may be possible to have your charge dismissed before appearing in court.
For a free case review, call our office at 561-622-5575 or complete our contact form. We understand that this may be a challenging time for you and are dedicated to preserving your rights at every turn.