What Factors Influence How High Your BAC Is?

Having a drink or two after work is not a crime, but in some cases, your blood alcohol content may be higher than you think after just a few drinks and it may get you into trouble driving home from happy hour.

Blood alcohol content or BAC can be difficult to track without specific equipment and people can find themselves more intoxicated than they think. If you get pulled over, you could face a DUI.

Why Is BAC So Hard To Determine?

Each person metabolizes alcohol at different rates, based on various physical and biological factors. Blood alcohol content is hard to predict based on these varying factors and there’s no universal rule-of-thumb for determining BAC. Some of the factors that can influence your BAC levels include:

  • Biological sex
  • Height and weight
  • The type of alcohol you’re drinking and how fast
  • The amount of food in your stomach
  • Medications you’re taking
  • Prior alcohol tolerance (i.e. how efficient your liver is at metabolizing alcohol based on prior drinking habits)

All of these factors work together to determine how your body process the alcohol you consume which results in your BAC. Two people may consume the same number of beverages, but that does not mean they have the same BAC. Similarly, consuming three beverages one day and three another day may not result in the same BAC both times.

Difficulty determining your BAC can also mean you might not realize when it’s okay to drive and when it’s not. You may not feel intoxicated, but a breathalyzer test may say otherwise. DUIs have long-term, serious consequences and you do not want to risk getting charged with one.

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