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Could dehydration contribute to a drunk driving charge?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2021 | dui

This time of year is a great time to get out on the water or spend time with those you care about. If you head out to a lake or river for the day, you might bring along a few alcoholic drinks and snacks, food for grilling or other items. Remember, if you do plan to drink, that alcohol you have could pack a punch.

Combined with the high heat levels in Tennessee and the risk of dehydration, you may notice that the amount of alcohol that normally gives you a buzz now makes you extremely intoxicated. Alcohol and dehydration both have similar effects on the body, and when combined, they could lead to a boating under the influence charge or a DUI on your drive home. 

Does dehydration really affect your blood alcohol concentration?

Yes, it does. In fact, dehydration can increase your BAC by up to 75% compared to non-dehydrated individuals. When taking blood instead of using a breath test (like a Breathalyzer), studies still found that there was a 35% increase in BAC per sample. 

That could mean that drinking on a boat and getting too much sun could raise a person’s BAC from .04 to .07 or higher. That difference could end up being enough to result in a DUI on or out of the water. 

What can you do about a drunk driving charge?

A drunk driving charge is serious, but there are defensive options. If dehydration affects a person’s BAC, they may not have realized how much the drink or two they had would affect them, or the dehydration itself may have created the symptoms leading to a DUI. It’s important to look into defensive options when unusual situations like this occur.