Drinking alcohol has been part of many cultures worldwide. It is used for parties, social events and even simple gatherings. Additionally, alcohol is also well-known for its intoxicating effects on the human body. Alcohol consumption in moderation can aid relaxation. Alcohol intoxication, on the other hand, can begin with the first dose or drink of alcohol. Any amount of alcohol can affect your body and quickly raise your Blood Alcohol Concentration level. The amount of alcohol in your bloodstream is measured by your Blood Alcohol Concentration. As a result, the more alcohol you consume, the higher your BAC level will seem on an alcohol or breathalyser test.
The amount of ethanol in grams per 100ml of blood or 210 litres of breath determines the Blood Alcohol Concentration. You are legally intoxicated in Australia if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.05 per cent or higher. It signifies you have at least 0.05 grams of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood. A person’s senses, perception, thinking, cognitive, and motor abilities are all affected by a BAC level of 0.05 per cent or above. Moreover, possible symptoms include reduced peripheral vision, poor eye-hand coordination, loss of balance, and delayed reflexes. You run a greater chance of getting into an accident if you don’t check your BAC level before driving. As a result, drivers and employers have begun to use BACtrack breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia to improve safety and avoid legal problems.
What is Blood Alcohol Concentration Used For?
The workplace is one of the most vulnerable areas to test for alcohol impairment. Many employees drink alcohol after work hours, resulting in negative consequences the next day. Despite its fast absorption, the body can only break down alcohol at the rate of one standard drink per hour. As a result, the more you drink, the longer it takes to get sober. Workplaces also administer alcohol screening tests to assess intoxication. A breath test is a practical approach to detecting alcohol. Blood Alcohol Concentration level is used to determine if an employee is fit to work or not.
Furthermore, Blood Alcohol Concentration is also used by law enforcement in policying roadside safety. If the police have grounds to believe that a person is driving while intoxicated, they can pull them over for an alcohol test. These officers are looking for signals like drifting, swerving, weaving, or abrupt turning. If someone consumes alcohol, it’s best to use a breathalyser to check the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). A breathalyser is a small instrument that uses a sample breath to calculate the BAC. You can stay within the legal driving limit by controlling your intake—understanding how your blood alcohol level rises can help you make better consumption decisions.
Factors Affecting Blood Alcohol Concentration
Within minutes of intake, alcohol impacts mental and physical ability. Although alcohol is absorbed quickly, the body cannot handle too much. An alcohol breath test is the most efficient approach to determine BAC or intoxication levels. Each person has different ways how their body reacts to alcohol. Some may provide higher Blood Alcohol Concentration from just one drink than others with multiple drinks. Various factors may lead to this. The factors are:
- Body size – Due to the amount of area alcohol needs to spread across, a person with a larger build who drinks the same quantity as a person with a smaller build will have a lower BAC.
- Biological Sex – Because women have less body water than men of the same body weight, they have greater Blood Alcohol Concentration after drinking the same amount of alcohol.
- Body fat – Because fat contains less water than muscle, it absorbs less alcohol from the bloodstream.
- Food intake – Food consumption effectively lowers absorption rates. Slower rates indicate less alcohol absorption into the bloodstream.
- Medications – some drugs can cause interactions with alcohol, altering how your body processes alcohol.
- Sleep – Sleep deprivation impairs judgment, making it difficult to determine how impaired you are when weary. One sleepless night can have the same effect on performance as 0.10 per cent blood alcohol.
- Alcohol percentage in a drink – higher alcohol content leads to a higher BAC.
- Rate of consumption – The more a person drinks, the faster their BAC will increase.
Methods in Identifying Blood Alcohol Concentration
Measuring someone’s Blood Alcohol Concentration can be determined in various ways. Whether in the workplace or roadside, measuring one’s BAC should be accurate and efficient. These methods could be:
- Breath test – The standard way of police roadside screening is a breathalyser test. Even in high-volume or continuous use, fuel cell breathalysers correctly determine the BAC. It’s the quickest and least invasive way to check for alcohol levels.
- Saliva test – Within 6 to 24 hours, saliva can disclose drug and alcohol usage. Because it is more convenient and less invasive than a urine or blood test, a mouth swab test is a typical method for drug screening at roadside checkpoints.
- Blood test – A blood test is the most precise test. However, it is the most costly and extensive procedure. As a result, confirming initial positive test results as a follow-up test uses blood tests.
- Hair test – Hair samples determine whether someone has used alcohol or drugs. Hair tests also provide a longer detection window, allowing for up to 90 days of substance use tracking. As a result, it can help determine if a person has a substance abuse problem.
- Urine test – The most common approach to detect drug usage is to examine urine samples. Urine tests, however, are less successful than other tests since they only provide a 48-hour window for detecting alcohol and drug abuse. It’s also easy to tamper with.
Benefits of Determining BAC Correctly
High-risk industries such as mining, aviation, transportation, and manufacturing have a zero-alcohol tolerance policy to avoid excessive risks. Personnel must, for example, pass a breath test before entering the premises. Off-site employees, such as truck drivers, use a smartphone breathalyser to test their blood alcohol content and transmit the results via an app. Furthermore, private companies may undertake workplace testing through an alcohol program. Correctly determining a person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration can achieve the following results:
In the workplace:
- Enhance overall safety
- Reduce overall costs
- Improve employee productivity
- Alcohol screening employees
- Improve employee morale
- Fewer liabilities
Meanwhile, on the road, you can avoid:
- Accidents and casualties
- Penalties and fines
- Immediate licence suspension
- Maximum court-imposed fine
- Jail time
- Driving disqualification
- Alcohol interlock order
BACtrack Breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia
Knowing your alcohol limit is the best way to be safe. A breathalyser allows you to keep track of your Blood Alcohol Concentration and prevent it from rising to harmful levels. Breathalysers Australia offers BACtrack devices with professional-grade sensors that are FDA-approved to keep you safe. The S80 Pro is a reliable breathalyser that uses fuel cell sensor technology, similar to that of police breathalysers. Alternatively, the BACtrack Mobile Pro can connect Bluetooth to a smartphone app. The ZeroLine technology in the smartphone breathalyser can instantly estimate when your BAC level will recover to 0.00 per cent. These devices help control your drinking and monitor the drop in your blood alcohol level.