Know What Factors Affect Blood Alcohol Levels
Whenever you drink before you know you’ll need to drive, you’re taking a risk that you won’t be safe to operate a vehicle afterward. Alcohol tends to affect not only your reaction time and ability to focus, but also your judgment about how many drinks is too many. Instead of guessing at whether you’ve had too much, it might help to understand what factors contribute to your blood alcohol level, and why too much alcohol for one person might not be too much for someone else. Read on to learn more about how your body reaches a certain blood alcohol content (BAC), and speak with a dedicated Illinois DUI defense attorney if you’ve been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Chicago.
Height, weight, and gender are the big three factors: The size of the person drinking has a major effect on their BAC. After two drinks, someone who weighs 100 lbs will obviously have a higher BAC than someone who weighs 200 lbs. Other biological factors can have an impact on the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol, too. For example, men’s bodies contain more of an enzyme that helps to break down alcohol than do women’s bodies. Additionally, certain female hormones can impair a woman’s ability to absorb alcohol, which increases the amount of time that women should wait before getting on the road after a drink.
What you drink doesn’t matter, but how fast you drink it does: A 1.5-ounce shot of hard alcohol, a 5-ounce glass of wine, and a 12-ounce beer all have the same amount of alcohol in them and an identical effect on your BAC. One of these drinks will raise the BAC of a 150-lb man by about .02%—in other words, you’re a quarter of the way to being over the legal limit to drive after one drink. On average, the body needs about an hour to break down that amount of alcohol. The faster you drink, the faster your BAC will rise, so try to sip drinks slowly and drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink.
What you eat after drinking won’t help: Having a big meal before or during a drinking session will help to absorb the alcohol. However, if you eat something post-drinks to try and “absorb” the alcohol, you’re unlikely to be successful, as the alcohol has already hit your stomach lining and entered bloodstream by then.
If you’re facing charges of driving under the influence in Illinois, get help defending your reputation and your future by contacting the dedicated and skilled Chicagoland DUI defense lawyer John Fairman for a consultation, in Homewood at 708-799-4848, and in Bridgeview at 708-960-4806.