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What Factors Affect Your BAC Level?


After a DUI arrest, police officers will ask you to take a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) or the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. If your BAC level is at least .08 percent, you can be charged with drunk driving in New Jersey.

There are several factors that affect a person’s BAC, which include the following:

  • Body type – In general, the more a person weighs, the less pronounced the effects of alcohol will be compared to someone who weighs less and drinks the same amount. Heavier individuals tend to have more water in their bodies, which can dilute alcohol and thus reduce their BAC level.
  • Gender – Women often have more body fat—than muscles—compared to their male counterparts. Body fat absorbs more alcohol compared to muscle. Furthermore, women have less dehydrogenase—an enzyme that absorbs alcohol before it enters the bloodstream—than men.
  • Consumption rate – The quicker you drink alcohol, the faster your BAC will increase.
  • Age – The more you age, the more pronounced the intoxicating effects of alcohol will be.
  • Strength of drink – The higher the alcohol percentage, the more alcohol will be absorbed in your bloodstream.
  • Food – Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach will lead to a higher in comparison to someone who ate before drinking. Food slows down how much alcohol enters your bloodstream by storing it in your stomach longer.
  • Medications – From prescription drugs to over-the-counter medicine, medications can increase the intoxicating effects of alcohol and even damage your health.
  • Mood – Stress can delay how much alcohol is absorbed in your bloodstream. But once you relax, your blood will flow normally again, resulting in a surge in your BAC.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Bergen County, contact the Law Offices of Joseph R. Donahue, LLC today at (201) 574-7919 and request a free case review.

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