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Everyone knows drinking and driving can spell trouble. After all, if officers arrest you for driving under the influence of alcohol, you may face many criminal and other consequences. While a variety of factors determine your blood alcohol content, your mood and overall well-being may cause you to cross the legal limit more rapidly. 

Generally, the faster you drink, the quicker your blood alcohol content rises. Therefore, you should try to limit yourself to a single drink every hour to avoid legal problems. You should also eat before you start drinking. That is, consuming a protein-rich meal a couple hours before your first drink can help you control your BAC. You must also think about how you feel, though. 

Illness can cause BAC to climb 

During winter months, colds seem to be everywhere. While you may not give much thought to a cough or sniffle, drinking with a cold could be a recipe for disaster. If you do not feel well, there is a good chance you are experiencing the effects of dehydration. Drinking while not properly hydrated often causes BAC to climb faster. It also may make your liver function less effectively. As such, if you are sick, you should assume you cannot drink as much as you usually do and have your BAC remain below the legal threshold. 

Some medications affect BAC 

Certain medications magnify the effects of alcohol. If you are taking pain relievers, antidepressants or cold medication, your BAC may skyrocket after only a drink or two. Therefore, before combining alcohol and medications, you should be certain you understand drug interactions. If a doctor or pharmacist tells you not to mix medications with alcoholic beverages, it is best to follow the advice. 

Your mood may alter your BAC 

Stress, depression and anxiety can affect the way your body processes alcohol. Even worse, alcohol can cause you to experience these emotions during a night on the town. Therefore, if you are not feeling positive, your BAC could be climbing faster than it normally does. 

There are seemingly countless resources on how much alcohol men and women can consume and keep their BAC below the legal limit. While these resources can help you stay out of trouble, you must realize a variety of other factors determine how quickly your BAC rises. Simply put, if you are not feeling well or taking certain medications, your BAC may pass the legal limit more quickly than you think.

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