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Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration and Alcohol Impairment

Q: Does the type of alcohol I drink affect my BAC?
A: No! A drink is a drink, is a drink.
A typical drink equals about half an ounce of alcohol (.54 ounces, to be exact). This is the approximate amount of alcohol found in:

  • one shot of distilled spirits, or
  • one 5-ounce glass of wine, or
  • one 12-ounce beer.

Q: What affects my BAC?
A: How fast a person’s BAC rises varies with a number of factors:

  • The number of drinks. The more you drink, the higher the BAC.
  • How fast you drink. When alcohol is consumed quickly, you will reach a higher BAC than when it is consumed over a longer period of time.
  • Your gender. Women generally have less water and more body fat per pound of body weight than men. Alcohol does not go into fat cells as easily as other cells, so more alcohol remains in the blood of women.
  • Your weight. The more you weigh, the more water is present in your body. This water dilutes the alcohol and lowers the BAC.
  • Food in your stomach. Absorption will be slowed if you’ve had something to eat.

Q: What about other medications or drugs?
A: Medications or drugs will not change your BAC. However, if you drink alcohol while taking certain medications, you may feel – and be – more impaired, which can affect your ability to perform driving-related tasks.

Q: When am I impaired?
A: Because of the multitude of factors that affect BAC, it is very difficult to assess your own BAC or impairment. Though small amounts of alcohol affect one’s brain and the ability to drive, people often swear they are “fine” after several drinks – but in fact, the failure to recognize alcohol impairment is often a symptom of impairment.

While the lower stages of alcohol impairment are undetectable to others, the drinker knows vaguely when the “buzz” begins. A person will likely be too impaired to drive before looking – or maybe even feeling – “drunk.”

If you are in need of a DUI Attorney in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach please call us.