Man blowing into breathalyzer

Factors That Can Affect Your Blood Alcohol Content

Guilfoil Law Group May 9, 2023

Blood alcohol content, commonly referred to as BAC, is the measurement of the amount of alcohol present in a person’s bloodstream. For those arrested and charged with a DUI, BAC levels can significantly impact how the case is handled. Understanding the science behind BAC levels and what factors can affect your blood alcohol content can help if you are facing DUI charges.  

If you are facing DUI charges because your blood alcohol content was above the legal limit, contact Guilfoil Law Group. As a DUI defense attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, I can help you prepare and develop a strategy to fight the charges by arguing that there were factors that affected your BAC level. With an office in Kansas City, I proudly serve clients throughout the state, including Clay County, Jackson County, and Platte County.  

Blood Alcohol Content  

BAC is measured through breath, blood, or even urine tests that determine how much alcohol is in a person’s system. The measurement is done in grams per deciliter (g/dL), and in most states, including Missouri, a BAC level of 0.08% or higher is considered legally intoxicated. However, even if your BAC level is below the legal limit, you could still be charged with a DUI if your driving ability was impaired by alcohol. 

If you were caught driving with a BAC level above the legal limit, you could face severe penalties, including hefty fines, jail time, and the loss of driving privileges. 

Factors That Can Affect Your Blood Alcohol Content  

Many people do not realize that their blood alcohol content can be influenced by a number of factors. Some of these factors include: 

1. Body Type (Weight and Height) 

One of the most significant factors that can affect your BAC is body type. Alcohol is mainly water-soluble, which means it is distributed throughout your body in proportion to your body’s water content. As a result, people with more body fat tend to have a higher BAC than those with less body fat. Also, taller and larger individuals tend to have more body water content, which means they can handle more alcohol than shorter and smaller individuals. 

2. Fat/Muscle Content 

In addition to body type, the ratio of fat to muscle in your body can also affect your BAC. Muscle tissue contains more water than fat tissue, which means people with more muscle tissue can handle more alcohol than those with less muscle tissue.  

3. Age 

Your age can also affect your BAC. As you age, your body’s ability to process alcohol may decline. This is because your liver function decreases, and your body cannot metabolize alcohol as efficiently as it did when you were younger.  

4. Gender 

Gender can also affect your BAC. Women tend to have a higher BAC than men because they have a higher body fat percentage and a lower body water content. As a result, women may experience the effects of alcohol more quickly than men. 

5. Rate of Consumption 

If you drink too quickly, your liver may not be able to keep up with processing the alcohol, leading to a higher BAC. On the other hand, if you drink slowly over a more extended period, your body has more time to metabolize the alcohol, resulting in a lower BAC. 

6. Food Intake 

Eating a meal before drinking can slow down the absorption of alcohol, leading to a lower BAC. This is because food helps to slow down the rate at which alcohol enters your bloodstream. 

7. Medications 

Certain medications can interact with alcohol and affect your BAC. For example, antibiotics, antidepressants, and pain medications can all increase the effects of alcohol.  

8. Health Disorders 

Certain health disorders can also affect your BAC. Conditions that affect your liver function, such as liver disease or hepatitis, can reduce your liver’s ability to metabolize alcohol, leading to a higher BAC. Chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can also increase your sensitivity to alcohol. 

9. Tolerance for Alcohol 

Finally, your tolerance for alcohol can affect your BAC. If you are a regular drinker, your liver may be better equipped to process alcohol, leading to a lower BAC. However, if you are not a regular drinker, your body may not be as efficient at metabolizing alcohol, leading to a higher BAC. 

Look to Dependable Legal Help   

If you are facing DUI charges in Missouri, it is imperative that you work with a skilled attorney who understands the complex laws surrounding DUIs and BAC levels. As a DUI defense attorney at Guilfoil Law Group, I can help examine the evidence against you, challenge the results of your BAC test, and work to negotiate a plea bargain or reduced charges if possible. Reach out to my office today to schedule a consultation.