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AH blowing .01 on BAC

Old 07-07-2019, 02:03 PM
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AH blowing .01 on BAC

So AH moved from his 2 week stint at his parents' into his apartment two days ago. He's been using SoberLink 3 x per day, no court order, just agreed to it. The last 3 weekends, he's drank on the way to "AA", or back from it (or both).

He bought tickets to attend a movie at 5 pm with DS. However, he called just now and said he wanted to "get ahead of this one" and admit he blew a positive of .01 on SoberLink. He was shopping at the store, wanted a beer, decided to have just one beer. He said he understood if I did not want DS to attend the movie. He also suggested telling DS that he "could not take him after all".

I told him nevermind about the movie. I just don't understand this disease. I've been wondering if/when he would drink at his new place. I have a feeling he was testing SoberLink to see how much he could get away with.

I haven't talked to DS yet. I'm debating what to tell him. Any advice or experience appreciated.
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:24 PM
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Just one beer-ppfffttt. Heard that one and many others too many times. He said just 'one' beer to minimize his actions.

Not much to understand yet anyway until the alcoholic really really wants to change, stop and/or quit. Just '1' drink means they're not their yet.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:23 PM
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How much alcohol will trigger a BAC of 0.01 percent?

George Behonick, a forensic toxicologist with Indianapolis drug-screening company AIT Laboratories, said 0.01 percent is a very low BAC and one that an individual could reach by having less than a can of beer or a glass of wine.

“People stop and they talk and they sit. So if you look at a 150 pound man over the course of an hour having one drink, you’re probably looking at a (BAC) that is very close to 0.01,” Behonick said. “That’s because the rate of elimination of alcohol is 0.015 percent per hour.”

Size and lean body mass also play major roles in BAC. For example, Behonick said, one standard drink would give a 200 pound man a BAC of 0.02 percent. In a 120 pound woman, it would yield a BAC of 0.03 percent.

Behonick said it’s also not unheard of for someone who has been drinking heavily the night before to still have a BAC of 0.01 percent or higher when going into work the next day.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/...cent/10741265/

I edited that down - but regardless, still no movie for your Son.

I forget how old he is. That's a tough one. I think I would say Dad can't take you to the movies today and if he asks I would be honest and say he has been drinking so he can't drive.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:24 PM
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maybe he doesn't really want to spend as much time with the child as you think he does? maybe it isn't a priority for HIM?

my concern is how this constant set up and then cancel affects the child. children in these situations, with such limited life experience, are going to assume that THEY are the reason why dad/mom/uncle joe don't show up for scheduled outings. it's likely better to not make a big statement about "dad bought tickets for a movie today and is going to take you" so there isn't such a SET UP.

what to tell your child? well by now i hope you have discussed that dad has an illness and sometimes he is too sick to be able to spend time with him - or something akin to that?? and that today is one of those days. we don't want to give kids MORE information than they need, but they do need enough information to understand that THEY are not the problem.

then it's time to switch gears and you two do something else. don't make DAD the topic of the evening.

it's tough. family/child counselor can be one of the most beneficial things we can do to help our children work thru being the child of an addict.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:05 PM
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Anvil is right about setting up meetings with the child which are then not followed through with.

They do feel it is "their fault" in some way. I know I did.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:41 PM
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It sounds to me like testing - both to see whether SoberLink really will detect alcohol in minute amounts (yes) and to see what you'll do if he blows a positive that is a tiny, tiny, positive, right before something that your kid has been looking forward to.

But 0.00 is 0.00, and anything else is not 0.00. So you did the right thing by nixing the movie.

If your kid knows about SoberLink, I think it's okay to tell him "Dad didn't provide a clear test, so unfortunately he had to cancel the movie". This is Dad's decision and responsibility, not yours, and certainly not your child's.
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:00 PM
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clarity......Of course, you can't "understand" his disease....Because you have never walked in an alcoholic's shoes. I think that this makes it really hard for the sober spouse, because it is easy to conclude that not drinking is as simple as making a decision about which subject to major in, etc....
There are powerful compulsions inside of the alcoholic's brain that are "whispering" to him, all of the time...."it's o.k. Go ahead. One drink won't hurt anything. Nobody needs to know about one drink...as long as they don't know..."

You might appreciate reading the book "The Addicted Brain" by Michael Kuhar….It explains exactly what happens in the brain, once one crosses into addiction , and how it ties into their behaviors....
You can get it on amazon.com....

On the subject of books...There are a lot of books on amazon.com that are written for children...in kid friendly language, and with good pictures...that can be read by the child or guided by a sober parent....
You might get some ideas about how to talk to your son, by reading some of them....

The fondest dream of every alcoholic is to be able to do controlled drinking...like "normal" drinkers. It is said that they cling to that desire for dear life because the thought of total abstainence, for the rest of their lives sounds like a death sentence....
It is how they cope with their emotions....
The alcoholic has to drink to just feel "normal"....Even though some can abstain for certain periods of time...and, some for long periods of time....that alcoholic voice is still there...whispering to them...."It will all be o.k....just one drink and everything will feel o.k."...….
The alcoholic has to get to the point of wanting not to be drunk, so bad...that they are willing to surrender....
(I'm not an alcoholic...this is all stuff that I have learned from alcoholics)….

I can imagine what a war is going on inside of your husbands head, right now...with the ability to be more free to drink, in his new place...that voice in his head is probably yelling to him...."Nobody will know if you just have a little".
he left your house because he couldn't drink freely, and he left Sober Living for that basic reason, and, then he left his parents house (more cushy than SL) for the same reason....Yes--he said that it would be better to live close to your house so he could see his family/son more often....but, he is still trying to find a way to drink, even when he is close by...
He is still in the grips of his disease....even if he wished he wasn't....
Doesn't sound like he is ready, yet, to surrender and do the hard work that is required to get into genuine , life-long recovery....
He probably doesn't know that , yet...but, I think it is I mportant that YOU do...because you need to know what you are up against.....

I know this is hard on you, because you have so much other stuff on your plate, with your father and your son to worry about....
You need lots of support for YOU...and, to learn to detach from his alcoholism...because it is just going to drag you down....
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:49 PM
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When I was drinking, it would take a very unusual circumstance for this alcoholic to stop at .01. All the best to you.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:14 PM
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Thank you for reading and providing some insights, everyone--I knew this shoe would drop, but I didn't know it would be today, and right before a movie they'd planned. It was AH's idea to do this movie together. Having a hard time putting thoughts down, had a migraine since noonish, but here goes.

So he told me it was .019, and "one beer", which after this morning's clear test, I believe(d) to be mostly accurate, though he certainly could've loaded up after the 7 am test and tried so sober up by the 3 pm positive test. The whole situation had me questioning my sanity again. I do know his dream is to be able to "just have a beer", and it's sad to hear him say it, since he clearly does not "get" recovery yet, at all. Or want it. Still, in my head I thought "he called me to let me know, should I still tell him no movie; is just one beer really a problem; if he told me about it surely he is done drinking for the day; this is way more honesty than I've ever gotten". I then thought "am I really telling a grown man he can't see his son over one beer, when he admitted it to me at least?" Then I thought that maybe this problem with alcohol is really just my problem, some people just are this way, his drinking is way better than it used to be (maybe in quantity, but having been through rehab twice it's really NOT better just by being "less"), blah blah blah. You know, all the self doubt and guilt. But like you all said, anything above a 0.000 is unacceptable (thank you for providing the numbers Trailmix, and STILL agreeing that .019 is a "no"--needed to hear it). And I'm sure he WAS testing me.

I still did not tell DS exactly why I ended up taking him. I did tell AH that covering up for him, or totally sugar coating stuff like this, is not my bag. But in some ways it has to be, to protect DS. This is a fine line to walk. DS is 8 years old, and he knows that dad has an illness. DS summed up his thoughts Friday when he said "Dad is figuring out how to "be" without beer; sometimes you just have to decide not to, right?". I told him it's a lot more complicated than that, and that dad has an illness. He did say the other day that when he grows up, the only alcohol he will use is the "healing" kind (rubbing alcohol). His dad called him on our way to the theater (DS got my phone and answered it, it was in the back seat in a bag) whereupon AH started saying "I'm sorry, I made a mistake"...it was all on speaker...and I interrupted so that AH would understand that I had not come up with any details on dad not being there yet.

My therapist who is well versed in helping families w/addiction issues moved an hour away, so I am waiting for her new office to open. She told me (like many here have) NOT to let him live here until he has a year sober under his belt. I just constantly question my own actions and how they've contributed to him getting to this level. I read on these boards daily and it helps me learn so much. I so appreciate ya'll taking the time to process this one. SoberLink and how to handle situations that arise w/it are going to get complicated. I may end up getting called a "controlling B", who knows. I really did love the man, and still do, though what we once had hasn't been alive in a very long time. Anyway, thank you many times over, everyone. AND, sorry this is a freakin' NOVEL. Dandy, am taking those suggestions you made, for sure!

Last edited by clarity888; 07-07-2019 at 09:26 PM. Reason: clarifying
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:36 PM
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I totally get your wondering about being a "controlling B". That's another one of the odd things that develops in these kinds of relationships.

Someone has to be the responsible adult, especially when there is a child involved. You get to ensure everything runs well. For instance you go to the movie because he made a "mistake". If being responsible gives him (or anyone else) the impression that you are controlling then so be it. You know who you are and why you do what you do and what your motivation is, that's all that matters.

Are you over reacting? Not in my opinion. You are refusing to be manipulated. As time goes by and you are out of the tornado, you will feel stronger and stronger about this I think. You are used to second guessing yourself because he, I'm sure, questioned you all the time. Can't a guy just enjoy a few drinks after work! Well no, not if the guy is an alcoholic.

The other thing is to stay in that kind of situation you need to make allowance for his behaviour. He is "sick" he wouldn't do this or that if he wasn't an alcoholic and drinking etc. Now I'm not saying that isn't true, but how big do the allowances get? When does it become really not healthy for you and your child? Obviously you reached that mark and did what was best for both of you, that's responsible.

You absolutely are right to protect yourself and your Son.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:05 AM
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if you knew that they were going to alcohol test everyone at work today and that there would be consequences for ANY level above 0.0000 registering on the device, would YOU drink before work?

so if you knew that you were going to be alcohol tested today before spending time with your child and that there would be consequences for ANY level above 0.0000 registering on the device, would YOU drink beforehand?

THAT is the issue.

sure he said he was at the store and grabbed A beer and that is what caused the test result - which would have meant he was choosing to drink in the morning. or that is a load of hooey and he had been drinking a lot more hours earlier and now still was not fully sober.

again in either case - he FAILED to produce a 0.0 test result. period.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:50 AM
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My advise. Stick to your guns. Tell him no. And tell kid the truth. Dad has a disease that involves drinking and you are not allowed to be with him when he drinks, so it will have to be another time. Then do something with kid youself.

Just my two cents.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:32 PM
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Thanks Trailmix, Anvil, you make great points. Hopeful, Sasha, thanks for the input on wording for DS. I hate this crap. DH said "I'm doing this (the apartment thing) for us"...he wants to be able to prove himself, remain a family, and loves his son...but he doesn't understand how deep in he is.

Anyway, he's been working from home at our house to watch DS for two, sometimes three, days a week. I'm gone for 12 hours those days. I am debating just enrolling DS into a camp that will cost $400/month just for those few days per week. I feel like AH doesn't need to be trying to monitor DS while working, and I don't even know if he's maybe figured out how to pass SoberLink and still drink. Anyway...thanks for all the help. :-)
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:08 PM
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You can probably expect more testing/limit pushing with SoberLink. I have a whole catalog of SoberLink excuses which are funny in a sort of awful, bleak way. But if you hold the line and insist that nothing but a 0.00 at the scheduled time is acceptable, eventually you may be able to "train" XAH to comply.

A couple of thoughts:

1. You're not a controlling B. Blowing negative for alcohol is an extremely low bar to clear - if it were any lower, you'd be digging a trench. It is fine if he drinks himself into a coma for 98% of the hours in the week, he is only responsible for being sober for about 2%. He can still be a raving booze hound if he wants, he just has to not-drink for the very small amount of time he has contact with his kids. Your expectations could not possibly be less demanding.

2. SoberLink is a tool for him as well as for you. He can use SoberLink to show that he can be trusted to not drink around his kids, that he has everything under control, etc. And it's all objective and neutral. A reasonable person would say "bring in on!" when given the opportunity to demonstrate their sobriety with SL. (Indeed, some recovering alcoholics actually ask for SoberLink testing so they can re-gain the trust of their family and children).
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:36 PM
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Anyway, he's been working from home at our house to watch DS for two, sometimes three, days a week. I'm gone for 12 hours those days.

so wait....he has to use SoberLink in order to have VISITATION, but you have him over at your house 2-3 days a WEEK for up to 12 hours at the same time??

i must be missing something here...........
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:48 PM
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AH has to blow into Sober Link 3 x a day, every day. Or at the very least, on the days he will see DS. He willingly chose to do every day because he likes to see DS most days. On the days I need childcare, AH of course blows into SL and is always clear. He has been clear for all of the two weeks we've used it except for two occurrences, both on weekends. On the days he's helped with DS, I've had another neighbor come help around 5, so it's usually not 12 hours for AH.
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:13 PM
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I personally would trust the SL and have a back up plan should he not blow or it be positive. Just my thoughts.
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