The way that alcohol impacts the body and mind make it unsafe for drivers to operate vehicles when they are under the influence. Because not everybody reacts exactly the same to alcohol, anyone who is going to drink must understand what factors affect how the body handles it.
When you are accused of drunk driving, your blood alcohol concentration percentage will be determined. In South Carolina, people who are 21 years old or older have a BAC limit of .08%. Anyone who has a BAC of that level or higher will face drunk driving charges. But, there is no firm limit to the number of drinks that will make you reach that level.
One of the most obvious things that will affect how many drinks you can have before your BAC is too high to drive is the strength of the drink. The higher the alcohol content, the fewer drinks it will take for you to become intoxicated. This means that one wine cooler isn’t going to have the same impact as one shot of whisky.
You will also become more intoxicated if you drink quickly. Having more drinks in a short amount of time can mean that your BAC goes up faster than it would if you spaced those drinks out.
Individualized points that affect BAC
Typically, women will have a higher BAC than men who consume the exact same drinks. This is because women tend to weigh less than men and have more water in their bodies. Muscle mass can also impact how the body handles alcohol. People who have more fat will have a BAC comparable to a person who has more muscle mass.
Your emotional state and what you have to eat can affect how you body tolerates the alcohol. When you are stressed, your body will divert blood from the stomach and intestines. This can keep your BAC down, but when your body begins to relax, the BAC will spike. Having food in your stomach can reduce the speed of absorption of alcohol in your stomach.
No matter what you are drinking or how much, don’t rely on how you feel as a determining factor for whether you drive or not. It is always best to find another way home. If you do drive home and face a drunk driving charge, you should work on your defense quickly.