Your blood alcohol concentration is directly linked to the amount of alcohol you have in the blood. Someone who has a BAC of 0.10% has one part of alcohol per every 1,000 parts of blood. For every hour you’ve gone without drinking, you can reduce your estimated BAC by 0.015%.
The way that your drinks affect you will vary based on numerous factors. One important note is that carbonated drinks affect BAC significantly. For example, if you have a carbonated mixed drink, the carbonation leads to the alcohol being absorbed more quickly.
Why do carbonated drinks get you drunk faster?
The science of carbonated drinks is interesting. Carbonation, whether it’s a carbonated mixer or on its own, puts pressure in the stomach. This forces alcohol into the stomach lining and out into the bloodstream. In fact, liquor mixed with any kind of bubbly drink speeds up the time it takes alcohol to travel from the stomach into the small intestine.
Carbonation alone is unlikely to be the only factor that impacts how fast you become intoxicated. Another factor to consider is how much you’ve eaten.
What happens when you eat before drinking alcohol?
If you eat before you drink, then you will have the pyloric valve at the bottom of your stomach close up to hold the food inside your stomach. This prevents food from moving into other areas, like the intestines, without being digested. In the same way, the body prevents alcohol from entering the intestines. Once your food is digested and moves on, the alcohol will, too. This is also why those who have not eaten anything see a much faster reaction to alcohol than those who drank with a meal.
What can you do to prevent a DWI when you plan to drink alcohol?
On the whole, the best thing you can do is avoid drinking and driving. If you plan to drink, make sure you have a designated driver or a safe way home. You can call a taxi, walk home, stay the night at a nearby hotel or use other methods to keep yourself off the roads.
Keep in mind that even though you may feel the effects of alcohol faster, there is no guarantee that your body will process it faster. Even if you believe you are “sobering up,” you should be cautious and take steps to make sure that you are not behind the wheel after drinking.