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Can eating with alcohol help lower your blood alcohol concentration?

People have all kinds of beliefs about how you can keep your blood alcohol concentration low and avoid a DWI if you’re driving while impaired. The reality is that very few methods can actually lower the alcohol on your breath or in your blood.

One thing that you should consider, though, that may help you avoid having a high BAC to begin with is eating with your drinks. Did you know that eating with alcohol helps reduce your BAC by slowing down how fast alcohol is absorbed? With this method, you may drink the same amount but still not feel the effects that you would have if you’d had drinks alone.

How does eating impact your blood alcohol concentration?

When you’re drinking on an empty stomach, alcohol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. There is nothing in the way and nothing holding on to the alcohol while it’s being digested.

If you eat before you drink, then that food may help absorb some of the alcohol. As it digests, alcohol is released, but it’s at a much slower pace than if you were drinking on an empty stomach. Keep in mind, though, that eating after you’ve had a drink won’t help at all, since the alcohol will already be on its way to your bloodstream.

Eating after you drink also won’t help you sober up any faster. The same is true of drinking coffee or exercising. None of these steps can sober a person up. Only time can do that.

Will eating with alcohol help you avoid a DWI?

It’s possible, since the effects of the alcohol would be less significant in some cases. For example, someone who has a glass of wine on an empty stomach may feel buzzed or drowsy from the drink absorbing quickly. They could be at risk of a crash as a result.

Someone who ate a full meal with a single glass of wine may feel no real symptoms of the alcohol, because it won’t absorb as quickly. What absorbs in 15 minutes for one person might take an hour for another, all because of the food that was eaten with it.

Eating isn’t a guaranteed way to prevent yourself from getting drunk, but it’s a good idea to have food with alcohol to slow down the absorption rate. It can make a difference in how you feel. If you need to drive, remember that you did still drink alcohol, so a drunk driving accusation could be possible if you’re stopped for any reason. It’s better to get a ride with someone else or stay where you are until you sober up.

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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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