Alcohol Breathalyzer Chart – All You Need To Know!

You drink, and the police ask you to pull over for a breathalyzer and field sobriety tests. What does the test mean? What do you expect in this case?

Even when you look fine, the test may tell you that you are intoxicated. We will give you a detailed alcohol breathalyzer chart and explain how it works. 

Let’s get started! 

Alcohol Breathalyzer Chart 

A breathalyzer is a tool that measures the amount of alcohol in your body. It calculates a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to see if they exceed the legal limit.

Based on the number of drinks you’ve taken, a BAC chart can tell you how low or high your BAC will be.

The result of this chart is not 100% correct. However, it can help you figure out when it’s not safe to drive. 

The higher the BAC, the more drinks you take. To reach such dangerous levels, a lighter person needs fewer drinks. 

The result of this test also depends on the gender of the drinker. Here is the chart that you can relate to. 

For men

DrinksBody weight (pounds)
10 .


DrinksBody weight (pounds)
10 .

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims the level of influence by alcohol according to the BAC is as follows:

  • Possibly: .02 to .03
  • Impaired: .04 to .07
  • Legally intoxicated: .08 to above 

Please also note that one drink here equals to 12oz of beer, 5oz of wine, and 1.5oz of liquor. 

The result may be different from person to person

How Does A Breathalyzer Work? 

When a person drinks, the liquid moves into the bloodstream via the mouth, throat, and stomach. Finally, it comes out in a breath. 

There are two ways of processing the consumed alcohol: digestion via absorption and chemical conversion in the bloodstream. 

When blood travels through the lungs, some beer or wine moves across the sac membranes (also called Alveoli) and into the breath. This chemical is volatile, which means it will dissolve from a liquid.

The content of alcohol in the alveolar air promotes the alcohol concentration in your blood. The breathalyzer can easily identify this alcohol-concentrated breath when exhaled.

In this regard, breathalyzers are handier for measuring a driver’s BAC. The officer can arrest drunk drivers on the spot, preventing accidents. 

Because the alcoholic concentration in the breath is equal to that in our blood, determining the BAC level by testing alcohol in our breath is possible.

The relative ratio of alcohol in the breath to blood is 2,100:1, meaning that 2,100ml of alcohol content in the lungs equals 1ml of the blood alcohol.

This video shows you more information about the tool:

The breathalyzer is more convenient

Breathalyzer Laws and Policies 

The use of breathalyzers is different in each state. If your BAC is higher than the legal limit, the officers may arrest you and charge you with driving while impaired.

Generally, the implied consent laws in most states include:

  • Having a driving license, insurance card and showing them when requested by law enforcement;
  • Submitting to blood, saliva, urine, and breath tests to assess your BAC; 
  • Conducting field sobriety testing when asked.

Can You Refuse A Breathalyzer Test

Because blood testing can be invasive, some areas allow persons to reject a warrantless blood test without facing criminal consequences. 

However, your unwillingness to take a breath test can lead to penalties.

Suspension of license

Because you ignored your written pledge to comply with such testing when you registered for that license, the officers can immediately take your driving license as an administrative action. 

You may argue that this regulation breaches your freedom from double jeopardy or receiving punishment twice for the same mistake. 

However, in most areas, suspending your driving license is an administrative duty of the Department of Motor Vehicles, not a court responsibility.

If you ignore the officer’s request for testing, they can suspend your license immediately. Depending on your state’s rules, the suspension time can be 90 days to two years. 

The police may suspend your driving license


The law enforcement officers are responsible for keeping the roads safe for everybody. If they believe you get drunk and are a threat to yourself or others, they have the authority to arrest you just for refusing to take the test.  

More fines 

Refusing the test may lead to more serious guilt than when you had taken it in the first place. 

The refusal does not eliminate the presence of proof of guilt. The officers use the findings before and during the investigation in court to convict offenders of driving while intoxicated.

The officer’s claims that you were speaking unclearly or unstable on your feet or that they smelt liquor can all be evidence.

Final Words 

The breathalyzer chart tells how drunk you are and if you are eligible for driving. If possible, do not drive after you drink.

Hopefully, this article has given you helpful information about BAC and driving laws. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

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