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Factors that impact your blood alcohol level

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2017 | Firm News |

If you ever go through the unfortunate experience of getting pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving, you were probably asked to take a breath test. This is done using a device called a breathalyzer, and the test itself is performed to reveal your blood alcohol content so that the law enforcement official who administers it can get an idea of your degree of impairment.

You may think having, say, two beers in an evening will not affect your ability to drive safely, but there is a variety of other factors that may affect your BAC in addition to your amount of alcohol consumption. Some of these factors include:

Your weight and body type

Have you ever noticed that your larger friends may be able to consume more alcohol than smaller people, and often without getting as intoxicated? This occurs because larger people tend to carry more water weight, and the water within the body tends to dilute the alcohol consumed. Thus, the more water weight someone has, the more quickly the alcohol in the bloodstream becomes diluted.

Whether you are male or female

Your gender, too, has the capacity to impact your BAC. As previously mentioned, alcohol becomes easily diluted in water, and generally speaking, men are prone to carrying around more water weight than women. There is also an enzyme found in the stomachs of men and women that helps break down alcohol, but men typically have more of this particular enzyme within their bodies than women.

Your metabolism

Just as you might metabolize food differently than, say, your sister or brother, you tend to do the same with alcohol. Maybe you are unable to eat whatever you want without gaining weight, but your siblings can snack all day on junk food and not pack on any pounds. Similarly, you and your siblings will likely differ in how fast you are able to metabolize alcohol, and a slow metabolism can lead you to produce a high BAC reading.

Your emotional well-being

You may already know that stress can have considerable effects on your overall health and wellness, and your BAC is no exception. A highly stressful state has the ability to divert blood away from your stomach and toward your muscles, which can make it more difficult for alcohol to be absorbed into your blood. Once your stress level starts to decrease, however, you may experience a spike in your BAC.

In closing, there are numerous factors that ultimately play a role in your BAC. If you are facing charges for a drunk driving offense, an attorney may be able to assist you.