What does Burn Off mean?
Burn off is the rate the body metabolizes alcohol by oxidation in the liver, stomach and small intestines. It is estimated that 90-98 % is oxidized, 1-5 % is excreted in an unaltered state in urine, and another 1-5 % is expired via the lungs. The burn off rate varies based on the driver's age, gender, weight, medications, body temperature, or medical conditions. The process can take one to three hours.
Because it is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a BAC above the legal limit the state may use formulas to estimate the amount of alcohol in a driver's body at any given point in time. Criminologists frequently use the following formula: (Body weight) x (blood-alcohol level) x (0.26 for men or 0.23 for women) = number of ounces of 100-proof alcohol (or 1/10th the number of ounces of 10-proof beer). Critics of this formula contend it is "complex to use and not very accurate." Talk to your DUI lawyer if you do not think you were intoxicated at the time of your DUI arrest.