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What can affect your blood alcohol content level?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Drunk Driving

It is a common assumption: One drink equals a certain rise in blood alcohol content. However, this oversimplifies a complex process influenced by many variables.

By understanding these factors, you might better appreciate the nuances and unpredictability of BAC levels, making you think twice before making assumptions about your or someone else’s intoxication level.

Being male or female

The body’s reaction to alcohol varies widely between individuals. Factors such as weight, metabolism and food intake can influence how alcohol affects you. But one significant factor to consider is gender. Typically, women will feel the consequences of alcohol more quickly and intensely than men after drinking the same volume. Why?

Women generally have a higher body fat percentage than men. Fat does not absorb alcohol, meaning the alcohol remains in the bloodstream longer. With a higher concentration of water in men’s bodies, the water dilutes the alcohol men drink. Hormonal fluctuations in women, especially during the menstrual cycle, can also change the rate at which alcohol metabolizes.

Ingredients in random products

Many do not realize that certain over-the-counter products and medications can influence BAC readings. Mouthwash, for instance, often contains alcohol. If you use it shortly before taking a breathalyzer test, it can lead to a falsely elevated BAC reading. Similarly, some mints, cough syrups and even some types of bread can contain trace amounts of alcohol, which might skew results.

Other factors

Equipment malfunctions and improper administration of the test are other contributing factors that can lead to inaccurate readings.

Every individual metabolizes alcohol differently, and given these variables, it is clear that BAC readings are not always straightforward. If you face charges based on a BAC test showing .08% or higher, consider challenging the results.