When police administer a breathalyzer test, they test a person’s blood alcohol concentration. In the state of New York, the police will automatically arrest a person for driving while under the influence if he or she has a BAC of at least 0.08 percent.
Determining a person’s BAC is a tricky science. There is an array of factors that affect BAC. Two people can drink the same amount of alcohol in the same period of time and end up with different BACs.
- Food intake
You may have learned in college that to avoid getting drunk as quickly, you need to eat something beforehand. If you consume alcohol on an empty stomach, then you will feel intoxicated sooner. Eating a meal before you go out drinking can reduce your BAC level by as much as 70 percent. Having food in your stomach helps with the absorption process, so the rate at which alcohol enters your bloodstream lowers.
On average, men have greater volumes of blood than women. This is due to the fact men have more muscles while women have more fat. Muscles contain more water, which helps the body handle alcohol. As a result, men’s bodies can better dilute alcohol, so it often takes men more time to feel the effects of alcohol.
- Body types
When you try to estimate your BAC, one of the most important factors is your weight. People who weigh less will feel the effects of alcohol sooner than people who weigh more. The reason for this is that heavier people usually have more water in their bodies. This makes them better-equipped at diluting alcohol, which reduces BAC.
- Type of mixer
Soda is capable of speeding alcohol through your stomach and intestines, which means it gets into the bloodstream more rapidly. Fruit juices and water slow down the process.
Despite the ways you can lower your BAC, it is better to play it safe and avoid driving if you have any amount of alcohol.