How Does Alcohol Affect Your Body?

Alcohol has a different effect on every person. Understanding the effect alcohol has will help prevent you from getting arrested for driving under the influence. If you were charged with a DUI, the court will use an expert toxicologist to prove that the amount of alcohol you consumed was beyond the legal limit. So, what is it about alcohol that makes it dangerous to drive?

How Alcohol Affects Your Body

A person’s level of intoxication depends on three things:

  • How much alcohol you consume
  • How fast your body absorbs it into the bloodstream
  • How fast you burn it off

Alcohol is absorbed from all parts of the gastrointestinal tract by simple diffusion into the blood. This tract goes through the mouth first, down your esophagus, into the stomach and then into the small intestine. So, if your stomach is empty, the absorption rate will be significantly faster than if you drank a lot after a hearty dinner.

While every person is different, the average rate of absorption is about 60% in the first 30 minutes of consumption and 100% after 90 minutes. The absorption speed also depends on your body weight and the alcohol concentration in your drink.

Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels will depend on a variety of factors:

  • The number of drinks you consume,
  • The concentration levels,
  • Your body size and gender

For example, if a 140-pound man consumed 2 beers in an hour, his BAC would be just over .05%. However, if he consumes another, he would pass the legal limit (.08%) to drive. A man who weighs 240-pounds would be under the legal limit until his fifth beer. Therefore, it is important to understand that your body weight will influence your BAC level.

Despite all this, a person whose BAL is under the legal limit can still be arrested and charged. BAL is just one way to measure a person’s impairment; an officer’s testimony about your behavior or erratic driving provides probable cause and is admissible as evidence.

Were you arrested for or charged with DUI? Contact our Tampa DUI defense attorneys today for a free case review: (813) 321-7323!