Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law
Travis Noble, P.C. | Attorneys At Law
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3 reasons people may underestimate their blood alcohol level

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | BAC

Adults who occasionally drink alcohol often try to gauge their own level of impairment. People need to know when to stop drinking if they want to remain sober or how long to give themselves before ordering a second drink.

This is especially true for those who intend to drive after consuming alcohol. The ability to recognize when one has had too much to drink is a valuable skill. Unfortunately, sometimes people who think that they can potentially drive home from a party or bar learn the hard way that their blood alcohol content was higher than they expected. Police officers might pull someone over and perform a test that shows that someone is well over the legal limit. Drivers often feel surprised when their test results are higher than they expect.

Why might someone underestimate their level of impairment and likely blood alcohol concentration (BAC)?

Changes in their drinking venue

Maybe someone recently started patronizing a new bar or restaurant on their way home from work. The professionals there may have different habits than the bartenders at other establishments. People who count their drinks are particularly vulnerable to changes in the party providing alcohol. Different establishments and different bartenders may have slightly different approaches to the same recipe. Someone could ingest more alcohol than they expect at a bar they don’t frequent or when served by a new bartender.

Drinking on an empty stomach

Someone familiar with their own limits usually knows how much they can drink safely. However, certain behaviors can alter the body’s ability to absorb and metabolize alcohol efficiently. Individuals who drink on empty stomachs may find that the number of drinks they can usually enjoy safely is enough to put them over the legal limit and at risk of an impaired driving arrest.

Changes in health status

The way the human body processes alcohol is complex. Changes in someone’s weight, metabolism or overall health could have implications for their ability to tolerate alcohol. Certain medical conditions could alter someone’s alcohol tolerance. Even certain medications could make someone more sensitive to alcohol and more likely to feel impaired after only one or two drinks.

Understanding the limitations to gauging one’s own chemical intoxication may benefit those hoping to avoid or properly respond to impaired driving charges.

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Travis L. 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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