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The factors that can determine how your body processes alcohol

If you have been out drinking with friends, you may notice that some people in your group experience different effects from alcohol than others. Alcohol affects people in different ways, which is why one person may seem to tolerate higher levels of alcohol than others. Because of this, it is wise for you to not base your perception of your blood alcohol concentration on others in your group. 

The human body will start to metabolize alcohol as soon as a person consumes it. How long this process takes differs from person-to-person, which is why it is important to be cautious about driving after just one drink. It may also help to understand state laws regarding BAC levels and how that can affect a criminal charge.

How much is too much?

It's important to note that a person's BAC level does not always match up with how he or she feels. You may not feel drunk, but your BAC level could be much higher than you assume. If caught with a BAC level of .08% or higher, you will face criminal charges. It is always safer to call for a ride, page a rideshare service or ride home with a designated driver if you have been drinking.

There isn't a specific number of drinks a person can consume before he or she has a BAC of .08%. The rate of alcohol metabolism depends on certain factors that are unique to each individual, including the following:

  • Your specific metabolism rate
  • Your body size, including height and weight
  • The amount of food you consumed before and while drinking

On average, a person can burn off the amount of alcohol found in one drink per hour. The rate of burn-off is more consistent person-to-person, but the rate that a person's BAC level will rise is more unique to that individual. 

What does it mean for you?

Many people who face DUI charges were unaware of how drunk they were at the time of their arrest. Factors that can contribute to this include things like how long a person was drinking, his or her gender, body fat and more. If you find yourself facing DUI charges after a night out, you may be unsure of what to do or where to go from here.

You have the right to tenaciously defend yourself against drunk driving charges, whether it is your first offense or you have previous convictions on your record. A complete evaluation of your case with an experienced California defense attorney can help you understand your defense options.

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