When you drink a few alcoholic beverages during a night out, it can be difficult to track your blood alcohol content level. But driving with your BAC level at or above a certain threshold can put you at risk for a DUI conviction.
The Governors Highway Safety Association states that in the U.S., all states but Utah define drunk driving as having a BAC level at or above 0.08%. Although this is the standard, many factors can affect how quickly your BAC level rises after you start drinking.
1. Your age
The older you are, the faster your BAC level will rise after consuming alcohol. If you and someone younger than you consume the same amount of alcohol, your BAC level could be higher than the other person.
2. Eating before you consume alcohol
If you eat during or before consuming alcohol, your BAC level will rise at a slower rate than if you had started drinking on an empty stomach. This is because any food in your stomach can reduce how quickly alcohol travels into your bloodstream.
3. The number of beverages you drink
When you start to drink alcohol, your BAC level will rise on a steady basis. As you slow your drinking pace, your BAC level will start to taper off as your body processes the alcohol.
These are just a few of the many different factors that can affect your BAC level when you start drinking. Others include your weight, your gender, the type of alcohol you drink, any medication you are on and your mood while drinking.