We’ve previously discussed how alcohol affects the body by delving into the various BAC levels. It’s important to understand those levels, and it’s just as important to recognize the different factors that influence your BAC level. According to the Center for Disease Control, “in 2016, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol of narcotics. That’s one percent of the 111 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.” To keep from adding to this statistic and to stay informed, below you’ll find the various factors that impact your BAC level.
7 Factors that Affect BAC
Metabolism differs from person to person, so the rate at which your body processes alcohol is completely different than your friend’s rate. Your body absorbs alcohol faster than it can metabolize it, so the faster you drink, the less time you give your body to process and metabolize that liquid.
As you get older, the intoxicating effects of alcohol become stronger and more pronounced. Drinking also affects men and women differently; since women typically have lower water content levels than men, it affects them more than it does men. Those who weigh less are also more heavily influenced by alcohol than those with a higher fat percentage.
3. Rate of Consumption
The faster someone drinks, the quicker their peak BAC will raise and the more quickly they’ll get intoxicated. Your liver is how the body processes alcohol, and this organ can only process one standard drink per hour. When that rate is surpassed, more alcohol filters into the blood system, which causes people to get drunk faster.
4. Emotional State
Alcohol effects people even more than usual if they’re under stress or fatigued. Alcohol is a depressant, so if one is experiencing any form of stress, anxiety, or depression, they will be more heavily impacted by booze. When stressed, your body diverts blood from your stomach to your muscles, which slows the rate of absorption. When you calm down and your blood starts to flow normally, even in the slightest, that can result in an uptick in your BAC.
If an individual has diabetes, alcohol can affect glucose levels. Diabetics should always avoid drinking on an empty stomach as that can lead to hypoglycemia and other harmful results. Talk to a doctor so you know the healthiest way to proceed with alcohol consumption.
6. Mixing with Carbonation
Mixing liquor with water and juices will slow the absorption process in your body, whereas carbonated beverages will speed it up. The bubbles in the soda increase the rate at which alcohol passes through your stomach and into your bloodstream, which then results in a higher BAC level.
7. Food Intake
One of the worst things you can do for your body is to drink on an empty stomach. Food slows down the absorption in your bloodstream since it keeps the alcohol in your stomach for longer. When you drink on any empty stomach, not only will the alcohol speed to your bloodstream more quickly, but it will also severely impact your blood sugar and other nutritional levels.
It is of the utmost importance to pay attention to these factors if you decide to drink. Even more importantly, you need to make sure that you drink responsibly, stay safe, and you do not drink while driving. If something happens and you require legal help, get in contact with a West Linn DUII attorney.