Common factors that have an impact on blood alcohol content

There are many factors, like age and weight, that can impact how quickly a person’s blood alcohol content level rises after consuming alcohol.

All states in the U.S., excluding Utah, define drunk driving as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08, states the Governors Highway Safety Association. However, drivers in Florida may inadvertently drive under the influence of alcohol because many factors can affect a person's BAC level.

Important factors

There are several common factors that impact how quickly a person's BAC level will rise after consuming alcohol. These include the following:

  • Weight-Those who weigh more have more water present in their body. Since water dilutes alcohol, and it can lower BAC level, a person who weighs more will have a lower BAC level than a person who weighs less after consuming the same amount of alcohol.
  • Age-Generally speaking, alcohol has a greater impact on the BAC levels of older people compared with younger people.
  • Food in the stomach-If a person has food in his or her stomach, it can absorb some of the alcohol following consumption. In most cases, a person's BAC level will be higher if he or she did not eat before drinking.
  • Gender-Compared with the bodies of men, women's bodies contain more fat and less water. Women usually hold onto more alcohol in their bloodstream than men because alcohol has a harder time getting into fat cells than other cells. The hormones in women can also affect how alcohol is broken down in the body.

Additionally, the number of drinks a person consumes in an hour can have an impact on his or her BAC level. A person's BAC level will consistently increase as the number of drinks per hour rises.

The consequences of drinking and driving

Those who get behind the wheel of a vehicle with a BAC level of 0.08 or higher in Florida are subject to severe DUI penalties. For example, a first-time DUI offender with a BAC level above the legal limit may have to use an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle for at least six consecutive months following conviction, states the Florida Statutes. This penalty may also be given in conjunction with the requirement to spend time in jail and pay a heavy fine.

Those arrested for DUI in Florida may suffer financially and socially from the many penalties inflicted on those convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol. Following a DUI arrest, alleged offenders should reach out to an attorney in their area to discuss their legal options and next steps.