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7 factors that can raise your BAC over .08

Every driver knows they should not drive while drunk. However, not everyone who is charged with drunk driving feels they were legally intoxicated or impaired. After all, how can anyone really tell whether their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.07 percent of 0.08 percent without a chemical test?

Unfortunately, this is how many people wind up with a DWI charge. They had a couple of drinks but had no reason to suspect they were over the limit. To avoid this, you should know seven factors that can increase your BAC without you realizing it.

  1. The type of alcohol you consume – You can have a higher BAC if you drink three strong cocktails versus three light beers.
  2. Your body – Generally speaking, smaller people have less water in their bodies and have less fat, all of which can increase their BAC faster than a larger person.
  3. Your gender – Because women are often smaller than men and have more fatty tissue, they can have a higher BAC than a man drinking the same amount.
  4. Medications you may be on – Some medicines can interact poorly with alcohol and enhance the effects of alcohol.
  5. Your age – As you get older, you can start to feel alcohol’s effects more quickly. Drinking at ages 20 and 40 will typically look very different, even after consuming the same amount of alcohol.
  6. How fast you drink – Having three drinks in an hour will result in a higher BAC than if you were to spread the three drinks out over a few hours.
  7. Whether you have eaten – If you drink on an empty stomach, you can have a higher BAC than if you had food in your stomach to slow absorption.

These and other factors discussed in this article can influence your BAC and how intoxicated you feel. As such, you could have different BAC levels after having the same number of drinks on different days.

Next time you have a couple of drinks, keep these factors in mind. Doing so can help you better assess your condition and potentially avoid getting a DWI.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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