Factors That Can Affect Blood Alcohol Content

by Barry Waldman

You were charged with a DUI in Virginia, but you have a friend that drank the same amount you did and got away without being charged. How did that happen? There are many different factors that can make Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) vary between individuals.

  • Number of drinks consumed. The more drinks you have, the higher your BAC is going to be.

  • How fast the drinks were consumed. BAC is higher in people who consume drinks more quickly. You can consume the same number of drinks over a longer period of time and your BAC will not reach the same high level.

  • Your gender. In general, if a man and a woman consume the same amount of alcohol, the woman will have a higher BAC. This is because alcohol is attracted to areas of the body with a lot of water and women tend to have a higher percentage of body fat and a lower percentage of water than men. Since fat contains very little water, it lets more alcohol enter the blood stream.

  • Your age. Older people are more susceptible to high BAC because one drink raises the blood alcohol level of an older adult 20% more than a young adult.

  • How much you weigh. There's generally more water present in the bodies of people who weigh more. That water almost dilutes the alcohol and causes the person to have a lower BAC.

  • How much you've eaten. Alcohol will enter the blood stream at a slower rate according to how much food is in your stomach.

Other things can affect your BAC like general tolerance for alcohol and whether or not you have certain medical conditions. If you are on particular medications, it's very important to consult your doctor before drinking. Some medications can cause you to become immediately impaired, even after one drink.

If you were charged with a DUI, contact Virginia traffic law attorneys Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC toll-free at 888-783-9701 for a free consultation. You can also get a start on your defense by ordering a complimentary copy of A Law-Abiding Citizen's Guide to DUI and Serious Traffic Offenses in Virginia.