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Blood alcohol concentration levels, tests and accuracy

Alcohol affects every person differently. So many factors can impact a person's ability to process alcohol that it can be tough for the average drinker to determine the impact on their sobriety and ability to drive. Blood alcohol concentration is often measured by law enforcement when a person is suspected of drunk driving. So, what is BAC, how is it detected and how accurate are the tests?

BAC tests measure the amount of alcohol in a person's bloodstream. When a person is driving within the legal limits of Kansas, they will show a BAC level at or below .08. Testing for BAC levels is often done with a breathalyzer, but not always. There are four other means by which a person's BAC can be taken, but only two are generally used by law enforcement as evidence of drunk driving.

Breathalyzers and blood tests are the two most common means used to measure BAC. While breathalyzers may be fairly accurate, it has been found that this testing method is not as accurate as a blood test.

Some independent studies have determined that breath readings can vary by 15 percent from actual BAC levels when they were also measured with a blood draw. Some courts have even thrown out breathalyzer results, calling into question the reliability of the machines used to measure a person's BAC.

There are ways to call into question a BAC reading if you or a loved one is accused of drunk driving if you suspect the results are not accurate. A 15 percent variance in BAC can mean the difference between a DUI charge and being within the legal limits.

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