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Factors that affect one’s BAC level

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2022 | Drunk Driving

If you are planning on going out to party with your friends, it is important to understand what affects blood alcohol concentration, especially if you plan on driving.

Many people underestimate the number of drinks it takes to reach a BAC of .08, which increases the chances of facing a driving under the influence charge.

Type and amount of beverage

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, different alcoholic beverages have varying alcohol content amounts. Examples of a standard drink include 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Keep in mind that if you are at a house party and are drinking mixed drinks, the amount of liquor in one glass may be much more than a standard drink size.

Gender and body composition

The University of Notre Dame Student Well-Being McDonald Center discusses that gender plays a role. Females, in general, reach a higher BAC faster than males. One reason is that women have a reduced amount of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol, and another is that they are usually of smaller size.

Speed of consumption

The faster you drink, the faster you will reach an illegal BAC level. Aim to drink one alcoholic beverage an hour and drink water in between beverages.

Food intake

Drinking on an empty stomach will increase the rate of drunkenness. Experts recommend eating before drinking or at the same time.


Many medications can affect the metabolism of alcohol. Some also have negative interactions with alcohol.


One’s emotions while drinking also affect how fast BAC levels will increase. Certain ones, such as anger, depression and anxiety, affect stomach enzymes, which change the metabolism of alcohol.

Because different factors affect the absorption of alcohol and, as a result, how fast a BAC rises, it is a good idea to arrange for sober transportation any time you plan to participate in social drinking.