Many people enjoy going out with their friends for a few drinks or sharing a bottle of wine with a loved one. Of course, you may know that sometimes a good time can go further than anticipated, and one drink could turn to two and so on. Though you may still feel as if you have not had enough alcohol to impair your driving abilities, you could still find yourself in legal trouble if your blood alcohol concentration reaches or exceeds the legal limit.
As you drink, you may attempt to gauge your BAC level yourself. While some ways for guessing this level do exist, such as considering your body weight and the number of drinks you have within a certain period of time, guessing at your BAC level is just that: a guess. More than likely, your estimate is inaccurate, especially because numerous other factors could impact this level.
While body weight can certainly have an impact on your levels of intoxication, several other aspects regarding your body and outside factors could also affect your blood alcohol concentration level. Some of those factors include the following:
- Your age – The older you get, the more pronounced the intoxicating effects of alcohol become.
- Your gender – Women tend to reach a higher BAC level more quickly than their male counterparts due to the lower water content in their bodies. Additionally, women have a lower level of stomach enzymes that work to break down alcohol.
- Drinking rate – The amount of alcohol in your blood will rise more quickly the faster you drink.
- Food consumption – Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach could increase your BAC level.
- Carbonation – Carbonated alcoholic beverages pass through your stomach more quickly, which could cause a higher concentration level.
- Metabolism – The rate at which your unique metabolism processes alcohol could also affect BAC.
This list represents only a few of the many factors that could impact your rate of intoxication and blood alcohol level. Your particular health, medications, tolerance levels, emotions and other aspects could also have effects. Therefore, you may wish to refrain from guessing at your intoxication level or BAC and simply avoid getting behind the wheel.
Dealing with DUI
Of course, everyone makes mistakes or has lapses in judgment, and you may have attempted to drive home after a night out. If an officer became suspicious of your driving behavior and stopped your vehicle, you could have ended up with a DUI charge. Luckily, you have options for defending against such allegations, and obtaining information on these options from local South Carolina legal resources may prove useful.