In Massachusetts, the prosecution can prove that a person was operating under the influence by presenting the court with a blood, breath or urine test result that is higher than the state's legal limit of .08%. This is a “per se” violation, which means that just because someone is arrested for OUI it does not necessarily mean that they are intoxicated. Rather, it just means their blood alcohol content was above the legal limit, which is the point where an average person can become intoxicated and exhibit poor driving skills.

What is blood alcohol content?

This is the measurement of alcohol found in your body either by obtaining a chemical sample such as blood, breath or urine. Unlike food, alcohol is absorbed through your kidneys and your liver, which means that you have to wait until your body processes the alcohol. Taking a cold shower or drinking coffee are not ways to get rid of alcohol - they just make a person feel more alert. Either way, your BAC will still remain the same until time passes.

Blood alcohol content is processed differently for everyone due to many factors such as your body weight, how quickly your body can absorb and process the alcohol, how much you have had to drink and the length of time you have been drinking.

Did you know?

Regardless of the type of beverage you're drinking, your BAC is only determined by the amount of alcohol in your system over a certain period of time. For example, whether you're drinking a 12 ounce can of beer, a 4 ounce glass of wine or a 1 ounce serving of 80 proof liquor, you have consumed ½ ounce of pure alcohol. If you had one of these drinks every hour, you can estimate your BAC level to increase each hour by .02%.