You have two drinks at a friend’s house and feel find to drive home, but on the way a police officer pulls you over. They suspect that you are driving under the influence of alcohol and have you complete a breathalyzer test. You are surprised that your blood alcohol content (BAC) results are over the legal limit of alcohol intoxication. What factors affect your BAC level?
There are certain physiological elements that can affect your blood alcohol content, including:
- Age: You may not know that your age can affect BAC. The older you are, the more intoxication affects your body.
- Weight: The more you weigh, the less alcohol may affect you, and vice versa.
- Sex: Typically, if a man and woman drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman will have a higher BAC. Women’s bodies contain less water and more fat, which causes alcohol to affect women more than men.
- Medical history: Certain medications increase BAC, such as anti-ulcer drugs; Dietary changes such as a low-carb or keto diet; and medical conditions such as diabetes all can affect one’s blood alcohol content.
What you drink/eat
- Type: Having two beers versus two shots of tequila may produce wildly different results. The type of alcohol you are drinking will affect your blood alcohol content immensely.
- Amount: The more alcohol you drink, the higher your BAC will be. It all depends on the individual, but you can count on your level of intoxication rising with the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Mix: mixing alcohol with a carbonated soda may raise your BAC faster than normal. This is due to the carbonation making the alcohol absorb faster.
- Food in your system: If you have food before drinking or while you are drinking, you may have a lower BAC than if you drink on an empty stomach.
It is important to note that everyone’s alcohol metabolism is different, and you should always think twice before driving after drinking. Even if you feel sober, there is a chance you may not be.