The alcohol in blood test measures the concentration of alcohol in one’s blood stream as it results from alcohol consumption and it is quantified as grams per litre of blood. The test can be applied to a sample of air that is breathed out, blood or urine.
In Romania, the permitted level of alcohol in blood for vehicle or tramway drivers is 0.00 ‰.
Consequences of DUI may vary depending on the concentration of alcohol resulted either from breath or blood testing:
– a civil fine if concentrations in expired air are below 0.4 mg. of pure alcohol;
- a prison sentence of one to five years when it is a criminal offence, i.e. the concentration of alcohol in blood is above 0.8 g of alcohol per litre.
A driver’s level of alcohol in blood of 0.5 ml/l doubles the likelihood of a road crash compared to a sober driver. Alcohol consumption creates a state of elation for a driver, distorts perception and deprives him or her of good reflexes.
It has been proven that the level of alcohol in the bloodstream depends on a variety of factors, one of which is drinking time: the shorter the time, the higher the alcohol level in blood, because our liver needs time to flush alcohol through metabolism.
The level of alcohol in the bloodstream may vary even in relation to gender. Suppose a woman and a man drink equal quantities of the same drink, yet their levels of alcohol in blood will vary. Such a discrepancy used to be accounted for by differences in bodyweight and in the fatty tissue, but recent studies have demonstrated that a woman’s body stores less water that a man’s of the same weight, which explains why women get drunk sooner than men do. Since a woman’s body stores less water (55% for women compared to 65% for men), it is normal for her levels of alcohol in blood to raise sooner. That means that a woman’s levels of alcohol in blood will be one third as high as a man’s, for equal quantities of alcohol ingested and the same bodyweight.
DUI accounts for most of the fatal car crashes. Statistics show that in developed countries DUI accounts for almost 20% of fatal accidents, whereas in less developed countries the percentage can go as high as 69 points. The real concern is that fatalities most often mean loss of innocent lives.