Factors That Can Affect Your Blood Alcohol Concentration

Factors That Can Affect Your Blood Alcohol Concentration
Christopher J. McCann

Not everyone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will be the same after the same number of alcoholic drinks. There are several factors that can affect your blood alcohol concentration levels, and thus determine if you are driving under the influence of alcohol.

How Quickly You Drink Alcohol

The quicker a person drinks alcoholic drinks in succession will determine how fast and how high their BAC will rise. Typically, the adult liver will metabolize one standard drink (12 oz. beer, 5 oz. wine, .5 oz shot) per hour. However, every person has a unique body type and metabolizes alcohol differently. If more than one alcoholic drink per hour is consumed, the liver is not able to metabolize the alcohol as quickly and it will remain in the bloodstream until the liver can catch up.

Body Weight and Height

Depending on your body weight and height, your body will metabolize alcohol differently. Men who have the same weight as women have slightly more blood in their bodies and therefore can dilute alcohol better than women. Their tissue contains more water than fat, and therefore, they can metabolize alcohol quicker than women.

Food Intake

Drinking alcohol while consuming food will help allow the body to absorb the alcohol better. When food is in the stomach, alcohol is absorbed more slowly and steadily into the bloodstream, which means that it absorbs at a slower rate. The food itself does not actually absorb the alcohol, rather it simply allows the food to digest which closes the stomach’s pyloric valve keeping the alcohol in the stomach longer before it enters the small intestines.

Type of Alcoholic Drink

The alcohol content of your beverage is a significant factor impacting your blood alcohol concentration. One beer is not necessarily equivalent to another beer. The alcoholic content of a beverage is measured by “proof.” The higher the proof, the higher the alcohol content, leading to an increase in BAC quicker. Additionally, no two bartenders will pour a drink the exact same way, therefore, unless a person is drinking wine or beer, the amount of actual alcohol in a drink can vary.


If a person is on any type of medication, it can drastically affect the amount of alcohol that is in their system, and their BAC. Some medicines such as anti-depressants, cough medicines, aspirin and tranquilizers can affect your BAC.

Stress and Fatigue

Interestingly, stress and fatigue play a large role in your blood alcohol concentration. If a person is more fatigued or stressed than usual when they are drinking alcoholic beverages, it may affect their actual BAC.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you were charged with a DUI, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. We will examine all of the evidence against you and fight the admission of any evidence that may have been collected in violation of your rights. Contact our legal team at The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann at 888-360-4256 or online today for your free consultation.

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