It’s the last call and you’re about to call it a night. While you may feel fine enough to drive home, the last thing you want to get arrested for drunk driving.
The following are the most common factors that impact a person’s BAC:
- Weight – The less a person weighs, the more he or she will be affected by alcohol. Those who weigh more than others tend to have more water in their bodies, which essentially dilutes alcohol.
- Gender – Men and women metabolize alcohol at a different rate. Studies have shown that women have fewer dehydrogenase, an enzyme which breaks down alcohol in the stomach. Additionally, hormone levels impact how the body can process alcohol, meaning women can have higher BACs prior to menstruation despite drinking their regular amount.
- Strength of beverage – Consuming drinks with a higher alcohol percentage can result in a higher BAC. Furthermore, drinks with higher alcohol content tend to irritate the gastrointestinal tract’s mucous membranes, hindering the body’s absorption rate.
- Food – When there is food in your stomach, you will process alcohol slower than someone with an empty stomach. That is why it is important to always eat prior to drinking, especially foods with a high amount of protein.
- Medications – Whether it’s prescription medication or over-the-counter medicines, when these types of drugs interact with alcohol, it can result in adverse effects. Certain pain killers and cold medicines can significantly increase the effects of alcohol.
- Tolerance – It is true that some can consume more than others and appear less intoxicated. However, being able to “handle your alcohol” has no effect on your BAC.