The amount of alcohol in your bloodstream is called Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). BAC refers to the percent of alcohol in a person’s blood stream. For example, a BAC of .10 percent means that an individual’s blood supply contains one part alcohol for every 1,000 parts blood. In other words, a BAC of .10 means that .1% of your bloodstream is composed of alcohol.
To determine the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream, it is important to understand the levels of alcohol in beverages. In general, the contents of the typical bottle or can of beer, glass of wine, or liquor drink (mixed drink or straight liquor) each contain virtually identical amounts of pure alcohol. This does not take into account beverages that have a higher alcoholic content. Many beers and wines may have a higher alcohol content that hard liquor.
A person’s blood alcohol level can rises differently for every person and can rise differently for the same person at any given time. There are a number of factors that can make your BAC rise more quickly. Among other things, the number of drinks you have, how fast you have those drinks, your gender, your weight, the length of time spent drinking, and the amount of food you ate can contribute greatly to your alcohol level.
When a person consumes alcohol, it is quickly absorbed into the blood and can be measured within minutes. The amount of alcohol in the blood reaches its highest level about an hour after drinking. About 90% of alcohol is broken down in the liver. The rest is passed out of the body in urine, sweat, and breath.
Most people believe they get drunk because they have not eaten. However, food only slows the absorption of alcohol into the blood-stream. On an empty stomach, alcohol reaches the brain in a few minutes and begins to affect behavior and coordination. After a full meal, alcohol can take longer to reach the brain. Food does not absorb the alcohol. It merely slows the speed at which alcohol is absorbed. Fatty foods are especially effective in slowing down the alcohol absorption process. As fatty foods are more difficult to digest, they remain in the stomach longer than other types of food. The effect of the alcohol still occurs but at a slower rate. But food in the stomach may increase the amount of time it takes for the blood alcohol to reach its highest level.
It is further assumed that coffee, fresh air, exercise, sleep, and cold showers help facilitate the elimination of alcohol. Time, however, is the only thing that will eliminate alcohol. For most individuals, it takes at least 75-90 minutes for the body to eliminate one standard-size alcoholic beverage.
If you are currently charged with a DUI have questions on levels of alcohol in your system, contact us to discuss your case.